Rebecca Billard – Lakes District News
Christine Kennedy, Canfor’s director of public affairs and corporate communications said reports that the company’s log yards are full, which will lead to an early break up this year are baffling and simply not true.
She said the company is still hauling logs to all locations, including to its sawmills in Houston and Vanderhoof.
“We are not anticipating an early break up … I really don’t know where these reports have come from,” she said.
Kennedy also said reports that contractors are being paid a reduced rate for the logs is also inaccurate.
“Contractors decide the rate not Canfor,” Kennedy said.
She added that contractors work out a rate depending on their costs and according to the location they are working at.
Tom Lewis, regional manager at Canfor further clarified the issue. He said to Lakes District News that Canfor didn’t directly deal with any contractors over log prices.
“The price of logs received by the contractors was set through Babine Forest Products. Babine sets the rates with them.
“It could be based on how far away from the mill their wood is … it’s a decision that a contractor has to make whether to sell or not.
“I know that a bunch of contractors had wood in various states of processing in the bush, so Canfor went to Babine Forest Products and said ‘we will take as much wood as we can at target purchase rates’ … we buy wood through Babine Forest Products.”
Lewis said he would prefer not to divulge the purchase price. But as a result of the purchase, 200,000 cubic metres went to Canfor’s sawmill in Vanderhoof while 30,000 metres went to Canfor’s Houston sawmill.
David Lehane, vice president of Canadian Woodlands for West Fraser Timber said the only comment he is prepared to make to Lakes District News about the issue is that all logs were purchased at a fair market price. “We were fortunate after the disaster to be able to adjust our inventory plans to be able to accommodate deliveries from contractors, otherwise they would have been out of work, or have logs stranded on winter roads,” Lehane said.
He noted February is often a very busy month and that they’re on schedule with building their log inventory.
Both Canfor and West Fraser Timber declined to comment on reports that log prices had dropped by $9.