Costa Rica: Forestry Loses Competitiveness

Cheaper wood imports from Chile and an increasing demand for substitute products such as perling and gypsum are some of the reasons for the decline in local production.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Figures from the National Forestry Office indicate that the area planted with forest plantations went from "... between 130,000 and 140,000 hectares in the best years of the late 1990s to the just about 60,000 hectares currently estimated." The entry of Chilean wood at lower cost and the preference for synthetics, which are also cheaper, is affecting the performance of the local forestry sector."

See also "Costa Rica: Figures for the Wood and Furniture Sector - 2016"

Alfonso Barrantes, director of the National Forestry Office (ONF), explained to that "... 'Loss of competitiveness of the forestry sector has had a strong impact and consequences on forest degradation, reduction in timber cultivation such as forest plantations and agroforestry systems and sustainable management of forests, discouraging new investments in the sector especially in culture, management, industry, product development and marketing."

See also: "Furniture market in Central America"

"Timber from Chile, especially pine, comes from large companies that have plantations of many hectares and can therefore better control production costs," said Barrantes. That is why, he said, it is very difficult for Costa Rican businesses to compete against the prices of Chilean products."

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More on this topic

Projections for the Forestry Trade

February 2018

Representatives of the union in Nicaragua announced that this year they plan to plant between 1,200 and 1,500 hectares, which will be added to the 28,000 already planted in recent years.

In relation to the plans for this year, Salvador Mayorga Sacasa, president of the National Reforestation Association, informed that " ..." this year we expect to increase by between 1,200 and 1,500 hectares. It's a small amount, really, because the country could grow in this sector much more.'"

Nicaragua: Procedures Eased for Forestry Sector

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It has been announced that in the coming weeks a system will be implemented that will allow online management of permits for exports of round and processed wood.

Representatives from the National Association of Reforestors (Confor) explained that the current process of obtaining export permits takes about 7 days, but with the new digital system, the time is expected to be reduced to two or three days.

Costa Rica: Figures in the Timber Sector

August 2015

In 2014 1.017.000 cubic meters of roundwood timber were processed, of which 78% came from forest plantations, 20% from land in use and agriculture, and 2% from forests.

From a summary of the study by the National Forestry Office (ONF):

As part of the results revealed in this report, it is estimated that the industry of primary wood processing, in both stationary and portable plants, processed 1,017,000 cubic meters of roundwood (m3-r). Of that amount, 788,666 m3-r (77.6%) come from forest plantations, 207,693 m3-r from land used for agricultural (20.4%) and 20,640 m3-r from forests (2%). This information confirms a 4.4% increase in volume compared to the amounts reported in 2013.

Costa Rica: Problems in the Timber Industry

November 2014

Entrepreneurs in the timber industry are complaining that excessive regulation and high production costs are preventing them from exploiting the productive capacity of the sector.

Today, three quarters of total wood consumption is grown in the country and the rest is supplied by imports, however, "... Regulations mean that only a small percentage of the productive capacity of Costa Rica is used. "

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