Chile's Wood, Pulp Producers Hit Hard by Quake, Shortages to Follow
March 11, 2010 - The 8.8 magnitude earthquake that rocked south-central Chile on Feb. 27 has taken a heavy toll on that country's forestry sector, an industry executive told the daily Diario Financiero.
Jose Campino, the president of timber company Corma predicted that exports could fall by about 15 percent this year as a result of heavy damage to manufacturing facilities.
"The forestry sector is in the epicenter of the earthquake," Campino was quoted as saying.
He said exports could drop to $4.2 billion this year from about the $4.9 billion that had been projected before the quake hit.
According to a Reuters news report, Chile accounts for around 9 percent of the world's wood pulp and the disruption of wood processing will likely push global paper prices up as wood supplies tighten.
A number of pulp producers in Chile have had to halt operations in March and are not sure when their mills will come back on-stream.