"On an industry-wide basis, we're not going to be ready," PwC vice-president Michael Vermette told Business in Vancouver shortly after presenting at the Global Forest and Paper Conference.
"There are going to be those industry participants who are very focused, who are very well-run ...
There are others who, for a variety of reasons, are not ready."
While the forestry sector has always been cyclical, Vermette
explained that a booming lumber market in 2005 followed by the nadir of the 2006 U.S. housing crash and subsequent global financial crisis in 2008 has weakened supply chains.
At the same time, Vermette
and other analysts, like Russ Taylor of Vancouver's Wood Markets Group, are anticipating a possible supercycle of very high lumber prices brought on by tight timber supply around the globe.
pointed to a strategic partnership between Tolko, West Fraser Timber, Canfor and Western Forest Products, who have teamed up to charter a boat to ship their product to China, as an example of how some companies are using creative strategies to ship their product.
"Those that aren't forward-thinking enough to know that the world in this cycle is going to be very, very different than the last cycle we went though are going to miss the boat," said Vermette