West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. says it has posted a $42-million loss for the first quarter of the year.

In a statement issued Tuesday, company CEO Ray Ferris said the lumber and pulp and paper producer faced a challenging market brought on by seasonal effects and higher mortgage rates that continued to moderate new home construction activity in the U.S.

He said the company’s lumber and North American engineered wood product businesses were most the impacted by these factors and were partially offset by West Fraser’s European engineered wood panels and pulp and paper segments.

The setback works out to 52-cents per diluted share. The figures are in U.S. dollars.

“The West Fraser team is diligently managing through the market cycle and will continue to operate with financial discipline as we leverage our strong balance sheet to reinvest in our operations and return capital to shareholders,” Ferris said. “Importantly, our financial flexibility allows us to continue our core strategy of being a low-cost producer of wood building products while also positioning us to capitalize on opportunities as the demand environment becomes more favourable over the medium and longer term.”

Canfor is scheduled to issue its first quarter results on Wed., May 3.