Do you know where your timber comes from?

Where timber comes from

Brazil is a significant global exporter of timber products. We spoke to Abimci (The Brazilian Association for Mechanically Processed Timber) to find out more about Brazilian timber exports to the UK.

Brazil has the second largest forest cover in the world with a forest area of about 495 million hectares – around 12% of the world’s total forestry area and 60% of the national territory. In fact, the country is second only to Russia in terms of forest area, and has almost 150 million hectares more forestry than the United States. Of this, around 485 million hectares is natural forest, with almost 10,000 hectares of forest plantation. This makes it a significant global source of timber, using a combination of sustainable forest management in natural forest areas and forest plantations.

Forest plantations play a key role in the supply of various processed wood products such as sawnwood, plywood, doors, mouldings, floorings and pellets, as well as reconstituted wood-based panels, pulp, paper and charcoal. Within the forest plantations, 78% are given over to Eucalyptus, while 18% are pine, with other species making up the remaining 4%.

Coniferous plywood

Brazil is the world leader in coniferous plywood exports, with its export volumes growing steadily in terms of volume over the past decade. While almost half (41%) of those exports go to the United States, 8% come to the UK, making us the third largest import market for these products. These woods make excellent construction panels, and can be used for internal and external words which require strength and stability. They are also commonly used in the packaging industry, and in the production of furniture.

Hardwood plywood

Hardwood plywood is mainly used in the civil construction and furniture industries, and is produced mostly from tropical hardwoods from natural forests. In recent years Brazil has significantly reduced production, consumption and trade of these products, exporting just 1% of its total volumes, though of that figure 3.7% come to the UK, with the vast majority (79%) heading to North America.

Wood doors

Brazil exported 183,000 tonnes of wood doors in 2021, making it the second largest exporter of wood doors in the world. The UK imports around 2.9% of Brazil’s wood door exports, most of which were produced in the south of the country.

Mouldings, flooring and pellets

Brazil is the largest world exporter of mouldings, being responsible for 19% of the global export total. It is also an exporter of solid wood and engineered wood flooring, while its exports of wood pellets have expanded in recent years. In 2021 Brazil exported 345,000 tonnes of wood pellets, with 44% of it coming to the UK.

Learn more about Abimci’s work at

  • This article was originally published in Issue #01 of Supplying Timber magazine.