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Outside Canfor Corp.'s Mackenzie mill.

David Ebner/The Globe and Mail

Canfor Pulp Products Inc. has reported a net third-quarter loss of $4.6-million, or $0.06 per share.

That compared to net income of $3.3-million, or $0.05 per share, for the second quarter of this year and $23.9-million, or $0.33 per share, for the third quarter of 2011.

For the nine months ended September 30, the company's net income was $9-million, or $0.07 per share, compared to $122.8-million, or $1.72 per share for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2011.

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Canfor reported an operating loss of $8.2-million for the third quarter, compared to operating income of $10.4-million in the second quarter, mainly due to lower pulp sales realizations.

Lower shipments, restructuring costs and one-time costs associated with new five-year collective labour agreements were also contributing factors.

The Vancouver-based lumber, pulp and paper producer is primarily involved in the lumber business, with production facilities in B.C., Alberta, Quebec and the United States.

Canfor also has a 50.2 per cent interest in the pulp and paper business owned by Canfor Pulp LP; a 50 per cent interest in the oriented strand board business of Peace Valley OSB and owns a bleached chemi-thermo mechanical pulp mill.

Canfor is among the Canadian lumber producers that are expected to benefit over the next few years from rising U.S. housing starts and lumber prices as the industry continues to recover from the collapse of a few years ago.

A recent report suggested that U.S. housing starts should reach 900,000 next year and just over one million in 2014.

At that level, lumber prices should reach about $340 per thousand board feet by the first quarter of 2013. The price should average above $400 if starts reach 1.4 million units per year in 2014.

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