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The federal government says softwood lumber shipments from British Columbia to the United States plunged 20 per cent in March from a year ago amid railway transportation problems.
Global Affairs Canada says the country’s largest lumber-producing province exported 514.4 million board feet to the United States last month, down from 614.7 million board feet a year ago.
First-quarter shipments from the B.C. Interior, which account for more than 90 per cent of B.C.’s lumber exports, were 18 per cent weaker than a year ago, largely due to transportation issues. B.C. Coastal shipments were 36 per cent lower.
Total Canadian shipments in the first three months were down 17.4 per cent.
Shipments from Quebec — Canada’s second-largest forestry producing region — were down 16.6 per cent in the first quarter, while Ontario was 8.6 per cent lower.
Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway say western Canadian routes were more affected by cold winter weather and unexpected volume increases that slowed traffic.
This article first appeared on business.financialpost.com
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