Western Forest Products Inc.

Western Forest Products Inc.

June 19, 2008 11:40 ET

Weak Markets Force More Curtailments at Western Forest Products

DUNCAN, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 19, 2008) - Western Forest Products Inc. (TSX:WEF) ("Western" or "the Company") will curtail production in July and August, 2008 due to weak lumber markets. Existing customer orders are unaffected.

Conditions for forest products remain weak in Western's major markets, the United States and Japan. Demand for cedar products in the United States is also softening. Accordingly, to align log production with revised levels of anticipated demand, Western will curtail selected timber harvesting operations on Vancouver Island, the Queen Charlotte Islands and the Sunshine Coast during July and August. This reduction represents slightly more than half the normal timber harvesting undertaken during this period. These harvesting curtailments affect about 650 of Western's hourly employees and 1,200 contractor employees.

Consistent with these lower levels of customer demand and log harvest, the Company will also shut down its sawmill at Duke Point during the same two-month period. This is in addition to the previously announced indefinite shutdown of the Ladysmith sawmill, and various shorter term curtailments that take place at other mills.

These actions have been taken in the face of the unusually depressed market for forest products, particularly the home construction lumber industry in the United States and in Japan, which have been discussed in more detail in the Company's Annual MD&A, available at WWW.SEDAR.COM. If such market conditions continue the Company may determine that further curtailments are required.

Western Forest Products

Western is an integrated Canadian forest products company and the largest coastal British Columbia woodland operator and lumber producer with an annual available harvest of approximately 7.5 million cubic metres of timber of which 7.3 million cubic metres is from Crown lands and lumber capacity in excess of 1.5 billion board feet from eight sawmills and four remanufacturing plants. Principal activities conducted by the Company include timber harvesting, reforestation, sawmilling logs into lumber and wood chips and value-added remanufacturing. Substantially all of Western's operations, employees and corporate facilities are located in the coastal region of British Columbia while its products are sold in over 30 countries worldwide.

Forward Looking Statements and Information

This press release contains forward-looking statements and forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities law. Those statements and information include statements or information regarding the intent, belief or current expectations of Western. Such statements or information may be indicated by words such as "approximately", "achieving", "estimated", "expect", "anticipate", "plan", "intend", "believe", "will", "should", "may" and similar words and phrases. Readers are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements or information are not guarantees and may involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, and that the actual results may differ from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements or information as a result of various factors. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others: general economic conditions, competition and selling prices, changes in foreign currency exchange rates, labour disruptions, natural disasters, relations with First Nations groups, changes in laws, regulations or public policy and misjudgments in the course of preparing forward-looking statements or information. The information contained under the "Risk Factors" section of Western's Annual Information Form and under the "Risks and Uncertainties" section of Western's Management's Discussion and Analysis identifies important factors that could cause such differences. All written and oral forward-looking statements or information attributable to Western or persons acting on behalf of Western are expressly qualified in their entirety by the foregoing cautionary statements. Except as required by law Western does not expect to update forward-looking statements or information as conditions change.

Contact Information

  • Western Forest Products Inc.
    Reynold Hert
    President & CEO
    (250) 715-2207
    Western Forest Products Inc.
    Murray Johnston
    Vice President & CFO
    (250) 715-2209