West Fraser Timber Co. and Canfor Corp., Canada’s largest lumber producers, are suffering from tepid demand in the U.S. where the recovery in the housing market is stuttering.
U.S. housing starts fell a more-than-expected 8.8 percent last month, the Commerce Department said April 19. Housing demand isn’t strong enough to support lumber prices at current levels, according to Stephen Atkinson, an analyst at Dundee Capital Markets.
“This is a pretty slow recovery we’re seeing,” Joshua Zaret, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst in New York, said in a telephone interview. “Lumber buyers have been cautious.”