The pulp industry from Spain and Portugal decided in 2012 to rely more on the domestic sources of wood fiber rather than on imports. The main reasons are the relatively costly wood fiber from Latin America and the fact that pulp mills have paid less for pulp logs in 2012, which resulted in much lower costs for wood fiber in 2012. The direct consequence is that shipments from the main hardwood chips supplier, Uruguay, have decreased dramatically in 2012 with -54%.
In 2011, Eucalyptus chips from Uruguay numbered 1,285,304 tons, while in 2012 they dropped back to 597,469 tons, according to Eurostat. Portugal imported less with -43% (from 620,983 in 2011, to 352,555 tons in 2012). At the same time, Spain imported less with -58% (from 585,039 tons in 2011, to 244,913 tons in 2012). In terms of value, in 2012, purchases of hardwood chips from Uruguay came down to €68,063,400 (from €126,336,512 in 2011).