It’s hard to think that a $210 million loss can be construed as good news. It isn’t really. However, it’s better than it’s been. A PricewaterhouseCoopers report issued this week states that the largest lumber, pulp and paper companies in Western Canada posted $210 million in losses in the third quarter of 2009. While that isn’t something to be encouraged about, the fact that the loss last year was $230 million for the same time period means the ledgers are moving in the right direction.
Here in Prince George the news is actually considerably better for Canfor. The company, which owns the Prince George Sawmill and Rustad Sawmill in Prince George, saw its losses drop from $94 million to $5 million per quarter.
That is good news for the company.
With the price of lumber showing a modest increase of late, the state of the forest industry has improved somewhat.
Has it rebounded? Central Interior Logging Association executive director Roy Nagel said it’s too early to tell if the forest industry has hit bottom and rebounded. And he’s right.
Even with some slight improvement, the fact remains that lumber companies are still bleeding a lot of red ink. Mills remained on indefinite shut downs and workers wait and hope.
In the spirit of Christmas, let’s hope the numbers released by PricewaterhouseCoopers indicate that we may be moving in the right direction.
That would be a wonderful Christmas present for the Interior.