VANCOUVER -- West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. says it will introduce variable operating schedules at five of its British Columbia sawmills, resulting in an estimated 15 to 25 per cent decrease in production.

The company says in a news release that starting next Monday, the schedules at the mills will vary and be adjusted from time to time depending on market conditions.

It says the potential effect could be an aggregate estimated reduction of up to 100 million board feet through the end of the year.

Also starting next Monday, West Fraser says it will curtail B.C. plywood production for two weeks.

The company says it's taking the steps because of sustained weak markets, pricing in wood product markets and high log costs, and it will continue the varying schedules until market and economic conditions support a return to full production.

West Fraser has previously implemented temporary and permanent capacity curtailments of approximately 125 million and 614 million board feet respectively in 2018 and 2019.