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West Kelowna  

Mills lumber on with US

There will always be a market for Canadian lumber in the United States, but that doesn’t mean local producers aren’t taking at least a few of their eggs out of the star-spangled basket.

A softwood lumber trade dispute has flared up this year, and the U.S. has slapped a 20 per cent duty on most Canadian companies sending wood across the border.

Nick Arkle is co-CEO of West Kelowna’s Gorman Bros. Lumber. He says the dispute has pushed lumber prices in the U.S. “as high as they’ve ever been” as producers pass most of the financial pain on to consumers.

But even though shipping lumber south has become more of a hassle, Arkle says Canadian companies will keep doing it, at least in some capacity.

The American market, he said, is “huge,” and tends to pay quite well for “high-value” products, like those produced in British Columbia.

However, while companies like Gorman aren’t leaving the U.S. altogether, they have cast their eyes to other markets.

For more on where producers are looking, and why Arkle says they are "optimistic" about the sky-high lumber prices in the U.S., check out the full story on Castanet's sister business news website, Okanagan Edge.



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