Canadian softwood producers positioned to reap big refunds on U.S. lumber tariffs & More Trending News

 

Workers examine lumber at West Fraser Pacific Inland Resources sawmill in Smithers, B.C., in February, 2020.JESSE WINTER/Reuters

Canadian softwood producers are positioned to reap giant refunds after paying deposits totalling US$6.1-billion in U.S. lumber tariffs over the previous six years.

The U.S. Department of Commerce determined this week to preserve the coverage of imposing tariffs on Canadian lumber shipments south of the border. Duty charges are set to rise this summer time for Canada’s two largest lumber firms, whereas most different Canadian producers will see a modest decline of their tariffs.

After including curiosity to duties already held by the U.S. authorities, the amassed tariffs paid by Canadian producers since 2017 at the moment are valued at US$6.5-billion, in accordance to a research by CIBC Capital Markets Inc. analyst Hamir Patel.

While the commerce combat lingers, Mr. Patel stated historical past is on the aspect of Canadian producers, who recouped 80 per cent of the U.S. lumber tariffs paid within the earlier spherical of the dispute from 2001 to 2006.

But on the draw back for Canadian producers, the protracted battle has resulted in decreased market share within the United States lately, exacerbated by constraints in timber provides in British Columbia.

Amid elevated manufacturing within the U.S. South, Forest Economic Advisors estimates that U.S. producers as a complete accounted for 68 per cent of their very own nation’s home consumption of lumber final 12 months. Canada’s share of U.S. lumber consumption has been steadily eroded, falling to 26 per cent final 12 months, in contrast with practically 33 per cent in 2016, stated Paul Jannke, Forest Economic Advisor’s lumber economist based mostly in Massachusetts.

The the rest of softwood shipments into the U.S. arrive largely from Europe.

Lumber costs have fallen by three-quarters since peaking within the spring of 2021, when demand from renovators was surging throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Jannke stated that whereas there aren’t indicators of a commerce truce this 12 months, there may very well be higher incentive to attain a pact if lumber costs sink additional.

Billions of {dollars} in tariffs being held on deposit within the U.S. might show to be essential, particularly if Canadian producers discover themselves strapped for money. “If lumber markets weaken, that money becomes necessary in order to maintain operations and you could see both sides more willing to negotiate,” Mr. Jannke stated in an interview on Wednesday.

The 2006 Canada-U.S. softwood settlement expired in October, 2015, with no alternative. The pact positioned a cap on Canada’s market share within the U.S. at 34 per cent, however the U.S. lumber business has been lobbying for a revised system that would come with quotas to restrict Canada’s market share to 20 per cent.

Duty charges have fluctuated within the cross-border dispute that dates again to the early Eighties.

Mr. Patel stated he believes nearly all of the deposits can be finally returned to Canadian producers, relying on not if, however when, a brand new commerce settlement is reached. He cautioned that any softwood pact might take one other 18 months to materialize, with refunds taking many extra months to course of earlier than displaying up in Canadian producers’ financial institution accounts in 2025.

The highly effective U.S. Lumber Coalition has been an efficient foyer group through the years, successful political backing from federal U.S. senators eager to defend sawmill jobs in rural areas in softwood-producing states.

“Short of Congressional action, the U.S. industry has an effective veto on any potential deal under U.S. trade law,” Mr. Patel stated in a analysis be aware.

The preliminary new tariffs are scheduled to take impact by the tip of this summer time. West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. WFG-T, Canada’s largest lumber producer, faces paying mixed countervailing and anti-dumping duties of 9.38 per cent, in contrast with the present 8.25 per cent.

Canfor Corp. CFP-T would have a mixed new price of seven.29 per cent, in contrast with 5.87 per cent at the moment. West Fraser and Canfor are each based mostly in Vancouver.

The Commerce Department, which carried out its fourth administrative overview based mostly on lumber costs in 2021, might additional modify responsibility charges by August.

The mixed new price at Saint John-based J.D. Irving Ltd., which ranked because the fifth-largest lumber producer in Canada in 2021, has been set at 7.77 per cent.

Irving has been searching for to overturn what it considers to be the U.S. overcharging for the anti-dumping price. The New Brunswick-based producer not too long ago paid tariffs at a countervailing price of two.41 per cent and anti-dumping price of 11.59 per cent for a complete of 14 per cent, as an alternative of the unique expectation of that very same countervailing price, however an anti-dumping responsibility of 4.76 per cent, for a complete of seven.17 per cent.

Most different Canadian producers face paying mixed countervailing and anti-dumping duties of 8.24 per cent beginning this summer time, in contrast with the present 8.59 per cent.

The U.S. Lumber Coalition stated this week that it’ll proceed to push for the enforcement of countervailing and anti-dumping duties.

Amid combat over tariffs, Canadian lumber giants broaden into U.S. forests

“A level playing field against subsidized and dumped imports is particularly important during times of down markets when U.S. mills can least afford to lose sales to Canada’s harmful unfair trade practices,” coalition chairman Andrew Miller stated in a press release.

The Canadian authorities is defending producers situated in varied provinces, particularly British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick. In the decades-long bout of political back-and-forth over commerce guidelines, the U.S. lumber business has repeatedly disrupted Canadian firms in what International Trade Minister Mary Ng views as a protectionist technique.

“What we need are partners across the border who work with us, not against us,” the B.C. authorities stated in a information launch on Wednesday.

Most bushes in Canada are on publicly owned land, in distinction with the U.S., the place most timber is on personal property and corporations pay market charges to harvest, U.S. producers say.

Canadian softwood producers positioned to reap big refunds on U.S. lumber tariffs

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Canadian softwood producers positioned to reap big refunds on U.S. lumber tariffs

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Canadian softwood producers positioned to reap big refunds on U.S. lumber tariffs

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