The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) applauds the federal government for pursuing trade action against China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding duties on Canadian dissolving pulp. China had imposed anti-dumping duties of up to 23.7% on Canadian dissolving pulp in 2013 saying the imports were negatively impacting China’s domestic pulp market. The Chinese duties have resulted in significant loss of market for Canadian dissolving pulp producers including FPAC members and put a chill on future investment.
Fortress Global Enterprises Inc. (“Fortress” or the “Company”) (TSX:FGE) (OTCQX:FTPLF) announced today that it will be taking market downtime at the Fortress Specialty Cellulose Mill (the “FSC Mill”) in Thurso, Québec. The ongoing United States-China trade dispute, as well as weakening Chinese domestic textile and apparel consumption has destabilized the demand for dissolving pulp and caused a significant decline in pricing. As a result, the Company will deploy a temporary market curtailment strategy to preserve the option of restarting the mill once prices rebound.
Accordingly, the Company will take market downtime at the FSC Mill commencing October 8th, 2019 for an unspecified interim period. Market downtime will allow the Company to manage its dissolving pulp inventory build-up, which has resulted from the recent uncertainty in pricing and demand, and execute on its previously announced strategic and financing initiative (the “Strategic Initiative”).
Giovanni Iadeluca, Chief Executive Officer of the Company, commented: “As a result of a thorough evaluation of the current economics at the FSC Mill, the Company has determined to take market downtime given the prevailing market conditions. This market curtailment strategy will allow us to focus our efforts on executing on the Strategic Initiative, as well as planning the optimized restart of the mill. We have also proactively allocated resources to enable us to restart the FSC Mill on an expedited basis in order to take advantage of any significant rebound in dissolving pulp pricing. We continue to be confident in the future pricing and prospects for dissolving pulp as the market adjusts to currently volatile conditions, as we believe that the underlying supply and demand fundamentals remain stable.”