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West Fraser Timber Co. WFG-T says it’s closing one U.S. sawmill and indefinitely curtailing another because of high fibre costs and soft lumber markets.

The Vancouver-based company says it’s closing its Maxville, Florida, sawmill and indefinitely curtailing operations at its Huttig, Arkansas, sawmill by the end of the month.

West Fraser says the closure of the Maxville sawmill will affect around 80 employees, while the curtailment of the Huttig sawmill will affect 140 employees.

The company says it will mitigate the impact on employees by providing opportunities at its other operations.

West Fraser says it anticipates restructuring and impairment charges of approximately $50-million in the fourth quarter of 2023 as a result.

The decision will reduce West Fraser’s U.S. lumber capacity by around 270 million feet.

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