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Wood chip exports from Latin America reached a record in 2011; Japan and Europe major destinations
Global trade of wood chips has gone up substantially the past two years. Export from Chile, Uruguay and Brazil was up 43% in 2011 compared to 2009. A clear majority of the increase was Eucalyptus chips destined for pulp mills in Japan and Europe.
Historically, between 80-90 percent of the exported wood chips from Latin America have been destined for Japanese pulp mills, but there has been a diversification of consumers over the past few years. Although shipments to Japan have gone up by over 30 percent from 2006, the share of total exports has declined and is currently around 70 percent.
The biggest change from five years ago is that pulp mills in Europe have been buying much more Eucalyptus chip, particularly from Chile and Uruguay. In 2011, total shipments to Europe reached almost 1.7 million tons, which was slightly lower than 2010 but more than a doubling from 2009, according to the WRQ. The three major importing countries in Europe are Spain, Portugal and Norway. In addition, there have also been a few shipments to Finnish and Swedish pulp mills the past few years.
New destinations for Eucalyptus chips from Latin America the past five years include Morocco, Turkey and China. There are expectations that Chile will increase its shipments to China in the coming years because of higher demand from new pulp mills in the country.
Global timber market reporting is included in the 52-page quarterly publication Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). The report, established in 1988 and with subscribers in over 25 countries, tracks sawlog, pulpwood, lumber and pellet prices and market developments in most key regions around the world. To subscribe to the WRQ, please go to www.woodprices.com
Wood Resources International LLC
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Wood Resources International LLC (WRI), an internationally recognized forest industry-consulting firm established in 1987, publishes two quarterly timber price reports and have subscribers in over 25 countries. The Wood Resource Quarterly, established in 1988, is a 50-page market report and includes delivered sawlog prices, pulpwood and wood chip price and market commentary to developments in global timber, biomass and forest industry.