Forest Products Brought US$ 3.8 Billion to Brazilian Economy

Brazil’s production of forest products totaled US$ 3.8 billion (R$ 8.5 billion) in 2004. The largest share came from planted forests (62%), followed by products gathered from nature (38%). Wood products accounted for 84% of the value of extractive activities involving plants.

These data come from the Study of Vegetable and Forest Production, released Tuesday, December 6, by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), The study indicates the variation in forest production between 2003 and 2004 and the chief producing states and municipalities last year.

In the area of planted forests, vegetable resin production displayed the largest year-to-year growth (4.77%), increasing from 50,957 tons to 53,390 tons. The volume of wood produced in these areas, on the other hand, was down 12.22% in comparison with 2003.

Among the products gathered from nature, the standout in 2004 was piassava fiber, with a 25% production increase in relation to 2003, to a total of US$ 230 million (R$ 506.96 million). After piassava fiber came babassu nuts (19%), yerba maté (15%), and açaí­ palm (12%).

According to the study, the production of all products derived from wood declined in 2004. Firewood fell 0.13%; charcoal, 1.85%; and logs, 7.55%. Of the 34 non-wood products covered by the study, 15 increased in production between 2003 and 2004, 5 remained unchanged, and 14 decreased.

The item in which the greatest increase occurred was aromatics, medicinals, toxins, and dyes. Production was up 66.5% in relation to 2003.

According to the IBGE, this growth was due to strong industrial demand for fava d’anta (dimorphandra mollis), a plant typical of the Brazilian savannah and from whose fruit are extracted medicinal substances that strengthen the vascular and capillary systems and prevent diabetes and cataracts.

The product with the second largest growth (36.67%) was buriti palm fiber. According to the IBGE, the growth in production was influenced by incentives for the exportation of handcrafts made from this material in artisan communities in the municipalities of Barreirinhas and Tutóia, in the state of Maranhão.

Agência Brasil

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