At the beginning of the pandemic there were forecasts of reductions in domestic demand and exports, notably of solid wood products. The expectation was for a decline in domestic and international demand for all forest products throughout 2020 and into 2021.
After six months and with the pandemic affecting 30 million people, the scenario is markedly different from that forecast. The Brazilian domestic market is already showing signs of recovery with resumption of civil construction and exports of most wood products have increased.
Although there was a drop in exports for some products, overall there was growth in the first three quarters of this year.
Brazilian exports of wood-based products (except pulp and paper) amounted to US$286 million in September 2020, an increase of 20.8% compared with September 2019 (when the value was US$236.6 million).
Pine sawnwood exports increased in value by 35.6%, from US$38.2 million in September 2019 to US$51.8 million in September 2020. The export volume increased by 52.9% over the same period, from 192,400 to 294,100 cubic metres.
Year-on-year, tropical sawnwood exports rose by 1.8% in volume in September 2020, to 39,900 cubic metres, and by 7.7% in value (to US$15.4 million). Pine plywood exports leapt in value by 88% in September 2020 compared with September 2019 (from US$36.1 million to US$67.9 million).
In volume terms, pine plywood exports increased by nearly 50% over the same period, from 159,900 to 239,500 cubic metres.
Tropical plywood exports increased in volume by 1.7% in September, year-on-year (from 6,000 cubic metres to 6,100 cubic metres) but decreased in value by 11.5%, from US$2.6 million to US$2.3 million.
This picture is totally different from that foreseen at the beginning of the pandemic when a 30% to 40% reduction in Brazilian exports of solid wood products was projected.