Portugal: As forests continue to burn, the AIMMP warns of the impacts it will have on exports

As sprawling forests in Portugal continue to burn and supplies of raw materials continue falling short, the Association of Timber and Furniture Manufacturers (AIMMP) have cautioned that exports will continue to suffer.

“We’re very concerned,” President of AIMMP, Vítor Poças, said to the Portugal News. “This year is another blow…for a sector that exports a lot and which has an advantage that other export sectors don’t: The large proportion of domestic inputs, because if you export a renewable natural resource…you’re incorporating added value to sell, and not buying raw material [from abroad] to process and export.”

According to Poças, over the last eight years, the exports of the furniture sector grew by €800 million (US$943 million), at an average of €100 million (US$117 million) annually. In terms of sales abroad, timber and furniture alone account for more than €2.4 billion (US$2.8 billion), with the highest rate of domestic inputs in its exports in comparison with all of Portugal’s export sectors. In the first half of 2017, furniture exports stood at an estimated €1.198 billion (US$1.41 billion), a three per cent increase from the same period in 2016.

Unfortunately, in recent years, the furniture industry has been facing a deteriorating shortage of raw materials, with fires devastating woodlands at the rate of 100,000 hectares annually.

“We can only sell what we have, so if we stop having forests, one of these days, we’ll have nothing to sell,” he warned.

 

Source: The Portugal News