Canadian lumber producers get reprieve with end of 20% of preliminary duties Canadian lumber producers get reprieve with end of 20% of preliminary duties

Canadian softwood lumber producers are getting a temporary reprieve as a large portion of preliminary duties in place for four months have ended pending a final decision.

Most lumber companies will pay 6.87 per cent in anti-dumping tariffs after a 19.88 rate for countervailing duties formally ended as of Saturday.

Five producers singled out have paid duties between 9.89 and 30.88 per cent. All others paid 26.75 per cent.

The duty respite will last until the U.S. Commerce Department announces a final duty decision Sept. 7. The International Trade Commission is slated to render its judgment on that decision on Oct. 30.

In past disputes, that gap has been longer as the U.S. has delayed final duty decisions. However, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has a reported aversion to such delays, says lumber analyst Hamir Patel of CIBC World Markets.

Although countervailing duties formally came off in recent days, Canadian producers have been able to ship products south of the border without CVDs since Aug. 14 by delaying paperwork by up to 10 days, he added in a report.

Countervailing duties target what the U.S. considers unfair subsidies, while anti-dumping tariffs go after the alleged selling of softwood below market value.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said Monday that higher lumber prices have raised prices for American consumers buying new homes and hurt U.S., not Canadian, workers.

“It will become more and more apparent that the most threatened jobs by these policies are not Canadian but American jobs in several states, notably in the construction sector,” he told reporters after a meeting in Charlottetown between eastern Canadian premiers and New England governors.

Lumber prices, which ran up in anticipation of export duties, have begun to soften partly due to the lowering of duties.

Western SPF prices were US$385 per thousand board feet on Friday, said Madison’s Lumber Reporter, which tracks prices. That’s down four per cent from US$414 a month ago but up from US$330 a year ago.

Lumber prices are typically weaker in the fall after the main home building season.

“This is sort of this limbo period of 10 days or two weeks,” said Madison’s editor and publisher Keta Kosman.

“It will be interesting to see what the new floor is now.”

Hurricane Harvey, which has battered Texas, and the impact from wildfires in Western Canada could be factors influencing lumber prices this year.

Canada’s share of the U.S. softwood lumber market fell to 23 per cent in July, down from 32 per cent in September 2015 before the expiry of the 2006 softwood lumber agreement, according to monthly Canadian government reports.

The Conference Board of Canada has said U.S. softwood lumber duties paid at current export levels will cost Canadian producers $1.7 billion a year and cut about 2,200 jobs until a settlement is reached.

Efforts to reach a new softwood lumber agreement appear to have been overtaken by the United States’ efforts to negotiate an update to the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

Just Posted

Red Deer College waiting for feds to finalize marijuana legalization

Like businesses, Alberta and municipal governments, Red Deer College is waiting for… Continue reading

Class size only part of the problem say Central Alberta teachers

Though the Alberta auditor general’s report points out that classroom sizes continue… Continue reading

Lacombe County promoting crime prevention measures

County pushing Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principles

Red Deer doctor concerned about patient transfers to rural hospitals

Family physician says the move creates less incentive for expansion at Red Deer hospital

Fire permit season begins in March

Earlier springs in last few years prompted Alberta government to move up fire permit season

WATCH: Red Deer’s River Bend upgrades officially open

River Bend Golf and Recreation Area is the latest venue to be… Continue reading

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

In Pyeongchang, maintaining Olympic venues relies on a poor, aging workforce

GANGNEUNG, South Korea - Hockey players from Finland were circling with the… Continue reading

Trudeau’s fashion missteps highlight what not to wear on vacation

TORONTO — The traditional garb that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his… Continue reading

Stores make push in scan and go tech, hope shoppers adopt it

NEW YORK — Shoppers at self-checkout lanes scanning all their groceries after… Continue reading

‘Stars seemed to have aligned’ for new Halifax CFL bid, commissioner says

HALIFAX — CFL fans in Halifax have been told the league is… Continue reading

The language of ‘Black Panther’? It’s real. Give it a try.

OTTAWA — The military’s top general has promised to get to the… Continue reading

5 things you probably didn’t know about the Oscars

LOS ANGELES — You have a firm grip on this year’s Oscar… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month