New ten-year softwood lumber agreement possible by end of August, analyst says

An industry analyst says the framework for a 10-year softwood lumber agreement between Canada and the U-S could be reached in the coming weeks.

In a report released Wednesday, Hamir Patel of C-I-B-C World Markets said a deal setting quotas on Canadian softwood exports could be acceptable to the U-S lumber industry if Canada drops several demands.

That would include withdrawing a request that New Brunswick be excluded from any softwood agreement restrictions.

Patel says there is a greater than 50 per cent probability that the two sides could announce an agreed-upon framework by the end of August.