Missouri Timber Price Trends
July - September 2006

The U.S. and Canada - Softwood "Agreement"?

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The British Columbia Lumber Trade Council said late on Wednesday it had asked the Canadian Trade Minister for an extension of the deadline in order to bring it into effect in "an orderly fashion."

"In order to satisfy all the requirements needed to bring the agreement into effect, we are asking the government of Canada for a limited extension of time," said John Allan, president of the lumber council.

Emerson said in a radio interview that he is trying to be flexible on the timing but noted that "everybody's keen to get the thing done." Many firms in the lumber industry are desperate for cash as a U.S. housing slowdown has caused timber prices to slide.

"It should be addressed in the coming days," Emerson's press secretary Jennifer Chiu told Reuters.

On September 12, the two countries signed the seven-year deal that aims to end the longstanding trade dispute affecting $7.4 billion annually in Canadian softwood exports to the United States.

Ottawa had promised to start collecting an export tax on October 1 that would replace U.S. duties, which the Canadians said were unfair.

The deal will refund about $4.3 billion of the $5.3 billion Canadian softwood producers have paid in duties, a process Emerson has said should be over by the end of the year.

Canada supplies about a third of the softwood lumber -- such as spruce, pine and fir -- used in the U.S. market, mainly in housing construction and renovation.

Sources: Reuters

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