Forest products companies from Canada reported mixed earnings in the second quarter of this year, with integrated producers, especially those with a building products focus, reporting the strongest results, woodbusiness.ca outlines in a press release.
Companies from Western Canada posted earnings of CA$180.4 million in Q2/2014, up from the CA$161.7 million in Q1/2014, but lower than CA $383.8 million in Q2/2013. West Fraser reported net earnings of $74.0 million, compared to earnings of $72.0 million reported for the second quarter of 2014. Canfor and Western Forest Products continued their strong starts to 2014, reporting second quarter earnings of $64.5 million and $29.2 million respectively.
Eastern Canadian based companies posted net losses of $42.0 million in the quarter, compared to net losses of $76.4 million in the first quarter of 2014 and net earnings of $3.0 million in the second quarter of 2013. Tembec reported net earnings of $30.0 million, compared to losses of $28.0 million reported for the first quarter of 2014. Cascades reported a net loss of $83.0 million, compared to losses of $1.0 million in the first quarter of 2014 and earnings of $2.0 million in the second quarter of 2013. Cascades second quarter net earnings were influenced by a $43 million impairment charge and a $44 million loss on the refinancing of senior notes.
US housing starts statistics for June were about 6% below the average year-to-date trend. Due to the continued slow recovery in the US, 2014 is expected to become the seventh consecutive year in which US housing starts remain below the 1,000,000 unit level. Lumber prices were down slightly from the first quarter, while panel (OSB and plywood) prices remained more or less consistent with the previous quarter. Softwood pulp prices were fairly stable while hardwood pulp continued to decline in most markets. Newsprint prices remained stable despite weak export markets and paper prices were mixed.