The EU has today released a report related to a Trade Barrier Regulation ("TBR") investigation launched following a complaint submitted by CEPI, the European association representing the paper industry. The report upheld the complaint finding that the measures imposed by Turkey on the imports of certain varieties of paper such as office paper, books, envelopes and paper used for direct mail marketing (otherwise known as uncoated wood free (“UWF”) paper) from the EU were inconsistent with both WTO and the EU-Turkey Customs Union rules. “CEPI takes pride in its strong commitment to free trade with its partners. The decision by the Turkish authorities to remove these unfair measures is applaudable; however this issue should never have been escalated in the first place. It is our expectation that the Turkish authorities stand by their obligations under the EU-Turkey Customs Union Agreement in the future” says Sylvain Lhôte, Director General at CEPI. Click Read More below for additional information.
Canfor Corporation (TSX: CFP) today reported net income attributable to shareholders (“shareholder net income”) of $36.0 million, or $0.27 per share, for the second quarter of 2016, compared to shareholder net income of $26.0 million, or $0.20 per share, for the first quarter of 2016 and shareholder net income of $11.1 million, or $0.08 per share, for the second quarter of 2015. For the six months ended June 30, 2016, the Company’s shareholder net income was $62.0 million, or $0.47 per share, compared to $40.4 million, or $0.30 per share, for the six months ended June 30, 2015.
The Company’s adjusted shareholder net income for the second quarter of 2016 was $26.5 million, or $0.20 per share, compared to an adjusted shareholder net income of $20.9 million, or $0.16 per share, for the first quarter of 2016, and an adjusted shareholder net loss of $2.0 million, or $0.02 per share for the second quarter of 2015. For the six months ended June 30, 2016, the Company’s adjusted shareholder net income was $47.4 million, or $0.36 per share compared to $44.5 million, or $0.33 per share, for the six months ended June 30, 2015.
The Company reported adjusted operating income of $54.1 million for the second quarter of 2016, down $11.0 million from operating income of $65.1 million for the first quarter of 2016, with a solid improvement in lumber segment operating earnings more than offset by lower operating earnings in the pulp and paper segment, which reflected significant scheduled maintenance downtime in the quarter. Adjusted operating income excludes a one-time pre-tax gain of $15.5 million related to the settlement of a legal claim with respect to logistics services for its pellet business. Improved lumber segment results principally reflected higher Western Spruce/Pine/Fir (“SPF”) and Southern Yellow Pine (“SYP”) benchmark lumber prices and to a lesser extent, the contribution from the Company’s Wynndel Box and Lumber Ltd. (“Wynndel”) acquisition on April 15, 2016. These factors were offset in part by a 5 cent, or 7%, stronger Canadian dollar, and slightly lower planer production at the Company’s Houston sawmill following a kiln fire in May. Pulp and paper segment operating earnings were lower than the previous quarter primarily due to scheduled maintenance outages at all three of the Company’s NBSK pulp mills as well as lower Canadian-dollar NBSK pulp unit sales realizations.
North American lumber demand was solid across all segments of the market in the second quarter of 2016, with US housing starts in line with the previous quarter, averaging 1,160,000 units on a seasonally adjusted basis. Canadian housing starts were also broadly in line with the previous quarter, at an average of 198,000 units on a seasonally adjusted basis. Offshore lumber demand remained steady during the quarter.
Positive pricing momentum in global softwood pulp markets during the second quarter of 2016 was due mostly to the impact of industry spring maintenance outages and solid demand, particularly from China. The average North American US-dollar NBSK pulp list price, as published by RISI, was up US$37 per tonne, or 4%, to US$980 per tonne, while the average price to China was up US$27 per tonne, or 5%. However, NBSK pulp unit sales realizations showed a modest decline from the previous quarter as price increases were outweighed by the stronger Canadian dollar and a higher proportion of shipments at the beginning of the quarter when NBSK prices were lower. Similarly, Bleached Chemi-Thermo Mechanical Pulp (“BCTMP”) US-dollar list prices also trended positively in the second quarter of 2016 but the increases were offset by the stronger Canadian dollar. Lower energy revenue in the current quarter reflected both increased scheduled maintenance downtime and seasonally lower energy prices.
Pulp shipment and production volumes were down 10% and 13%, respectively, from the previous quarter principally reflecting the impact of the aforementioned scheduled maintenance outages and, to a lesser extent, isolated unplanned disruptions prior to the scheduled outages, which reduced market NBSK pulp production by approximately 40,000 tonnes compared to the 38,000 tonne impact forecast in the previous quarter’s press release. NBSK unit manufacturing costs were substantially higher than the previous quarter principally as a result of the scheduled maintenance outages. BCTMP production volumes and unit manufacturing costs were broadly in line with the first quarter of 2016.