Timber processing plant operators are looking at cutting prices for the timber they use to coat a lumber mill’s buildings and make the wood cheaper to mill.
In a bid to boost their profits, some of Canada’s biggest timber companies have been cutting prices in recent weeks.
The price cuts came after two federal departments, the Forest Products Regulatory Agency and the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, reported declines in the value of wood harvested in the province.
The cuts have prompted concern from forestry unions that they may be pushing up prices for workers.
Woodworkers at the Glenmore mill in Edmonton say the cuts have affected the amount of timber they can buy.
“We’re not sure how much we’re going to get out of the mill for now, it could be as low as $1,200 per month or as high as $3,000 per month,” said Michael Kasten, a worker at the mill.
“We don’t know exactly what’s going on.”
The cuts have come after Alberta’s provincial government recently announced it would stop using timber from the same trees that were used to coat the mills’ buildings.
With a recent government announcement, the government said it was looking to cut the value per tree of a timber mill from $1.95 to $1 and said it would work with other companies to find more timber to supply the mills.
The cuts come just days after the provincial government announced it was freezing the price of all timber harvested in Alberta.
This year, the provincial governments new regulations would only allow for the use of a certain number of trees to be harvested, meaning any trees grown on a mill’s property would have to be bought and processed in the same manner as other trees.
The new regulations are set to come into effect in mid-December.
Timber processing is a complex process that takes years to produce.
Each year, tens of millions of logs are harvested from forests across the province, and the mills use them to make the lumber that is used to make building materials and for furniture.
The timber processing process uses a variety of tools to coat buildings and furniture.
The wood used to cover the buildings, called timber, is heated to a certain temperature and then the heat is transferred to the building’s frames and walls.