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Softwood lumber is pictured in Richmond, B.C., on April 25, 2017. Canfor Corp. says it is cutting production and reducing capital spending as it deals with the COVID-19 outbreak.

JONATHAN HAYWARD/The Canadian Press

Canfor Corp. is cutting production and reducing capital spending as it deals with the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Vancouver-based lumber producer says it has reduced its planned capital spending by $20-million for Canadian and U.S. operations.

Combined with an already lower capital budget for 2020, the company says the move means its capital spending this year will be down about $100-million across lumber operations compared with 2019.

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Canfor also says that effective March 30 its Canadian lumber production will be curtailed by about 40 per cent or about 70 million board feet over a three-week period. The cuts will be implemented across several B.C. sawmills through a combination of temporary plant curtailments and reduced operating hours.

In the U.S., Canfor Southern Pine operating capacity will be reduced by about 40 per cent over or about 50 million board feet during a four-week period through the implementation of variable shift schedules and reduced operating hours.

And in Europe, Swedish lumber production will be curtailed starting next week at two sawmills by 50 per cent or about 17 million board feet over a four-week period.

“Our principal focus is ensuring the safety and well-being of our people through these unprecedented times, while taking the necessary actions to protect the long-term sustainability of our business,” Canfor chief executive Don Kayne said in a statement.

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