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Softwood lumber exports to US fall 20% in March amid railway woes

Total Canadian shipments in the first three months were down 17.4%.

April 9, 2018   by CP STAFF

Softwood lumber in storage for later processing.
Photo: Sean McClean

OTTAWA — The federal government says softwood lumber shipments from BC to the US plunged 20% in March from a year ago amid railway transportation problems.

Global Affairs Canada says the country’s largest lumber-producing province exported 514.4 million board feet to the US last month, down from 614.7 million board feet a year ago.

First-quarter shipments from the BC Interior, which account for more than 90 per cent of BC’s lumber exports, were 18% weaker than a year ago, largely due to transportation issues. BC Coastal shipments were 36 per cent lower.

Total Canadian shipments in the first three months were down 17.4%.

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Shipments from Quebec – Canada’s second-largest forestry producing region – were down 16.6% in the first quarter, while Ontario was 8.6% lower.

Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway say western Canadian routes were more affected by cold winter weather and unexpected volume increases that slowed traffic.