Many Canadian pulp mills ran at operating rates of less than 70% in the 1Q/09. As a result, wood chip prices fell in most provinces with the biggest declines occurring in British Columbia and Alberta. The western provinces had the lowest wood chip prices in North America in the IQ, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review.

Lumber production in British Columbia showed a decline of 28% in January compared to a year ago. The production as a share of practical capacity was down to a mere 42% in BC late last year, while the rest of Canada ran at 46% of capacity.