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RISI VIEWPOINT: Latin America: Growing opportunities in plantation forest investment

SEATTLE, WA , Feb. 3, 2014 (RISI) - 

Latin America accounted for about 14% of global industrial roundwood production in 2012, including 9% of the softwood timber harvest and 20% of the hardwood timber harvest in the world. More importantly, the region has become a world leader in the development of fast-growing eucalyptus and pine plantations, and has already attracted considerable interest by managers of institutional timberland investments. Now that most of the commercial plantations in Australia and New Zealand are already owned by foreign financial investors, attention is turning to Latin America as the next major region of interest. Indeed, foreign investment in plantation forests of Latin America has already been gaining traction.

In RISI's just published Latin American Plantation Forests: Outlook for Timber Supply and Markets, we include a database with 300 entries in 21 countries which identifies about 55% of the plantation forests in Latin America by owner. Approximately 16% of this plantation forest base is foreign owned, including 30% of the area identified in our database. Approximately two-thirds of this foreign ownership is by forest industry companies (mostly producers of pulp and wood-based panels) and one-third is by financial timberland investors. Between early 2009 and fourth quarter 2013, the area of forest plantations in Latin America owned by foreign financial investors increased about 41%, while the area owned by foreign forest industry companies increased by only 9% (Figure 1).

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This article originally appeared on woodbiomass.com: RISI VIEWPOINT: Latin America: Growing opportunities in plantation forest investment