Brazil takes measures to address raw materials issues

ITTO's Tropical Timber Market Report
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In the last few years, investments made by lumber companies in added value products have yielded noticeable results. In the first half of 2007, exports of solid wood products from the northern state of Para reached USD404 million against USD295 million in the same period in 2006, representing a 36% growth.

At the same time, however, the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade indicated the volume of exports grew only 13%, reaching 547,000 tons compared to 482,000 tons exported in 2006. According to the Wood Exporting Companies Association of the State of Para (AIMEX), companies managed to maintain production throughout 2007 due to log stocks from 2006 harvest. The sector was able to increase exports of higher value added products despite the low supply of raw materials.

Increasing exports of products such as doors, windows, flooring, decks, wood tools, wood hangers and other wooden crafts primarily led to the growth in exports from January to June of 2007. According to the Forest Institute of Para (IDEFLOR), it is mandatory to reduce waste from wood processing. In response, some companies have utilized wood residues in harvesting and industrialization processes by manufacturing wood briquettes destined for energy production as well as office objects and decorative furniture. However, sector representatives noted that the exports in the second half of 2007 and first half of 2008 may be jeopardized by the lack of raw materials, if sustainable forest management plans continue to be delayed.

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