Weyerhaeuser profit slumps as wood products sales fall

Oct 26 (Reuters) - U.S. timber company Weyerhaeuser reported a fall in third-quarter profit on Thursday, hurt by lower sales of its wood products.Demand for products such as plywood used in residential construction projects has come under pressure as two-decade high mortgage rates keep aspiring homeowners from the housing market.Net sales in its wood products segment slumped about 13% to $1.54 billion in the quarter, compared with a year earlier.Sales volumes for lumber were down due to reduced production at several mills, partially driven by temporary operational disruptions, the company said.Its timberlands segment, which is involved in the sale of logs, registered a 9.2% decline in sales to $521 million in the reported quarter.Weyerhaeuser had said in July that higher imports from Europe and New Zealand as well as low consumption were hurting its business in Japan and China.The company said it also faced harvest restrictions due to wildfire risks.The Canadian wildfire season, the worst on record, has charred millions of hectares so far this year disrupting operations of several companies.The company posted a profit of $239 million, or 33 cents per share, for the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with $310 million, or 42 cents per share, a year earlier.It also forecast fourth-quarter earnings from wood products to be moderately lower sequentially. (Reporting by Sourasis Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)