Beetles, biofuels lumber Canada's wood-products industry

Canada's wood-products industry is headed for a second straight year of $750-million losses as pine beetles and biofuels drive up costs, while the U.S. housing collapse suppresses demand, the Conference Board of Canada says.

"2007 will be remembered as one of the most difficult years for Canada's wood-products industry, with business conditions resembling a bad horror movie," said Conference Board economist Valerie Poulin.

"Last year, B.C.'s mountain-pine- beetle infestation, softwood-lumber export taxes, the strong Canadian dollar and the collapse of the U.S. housing market led to a loss of $750 million."