Empresas Copec SA (COPEC), Chile’s largest wood pulp exporter, said prices of the material began to recover in the first quarter due to increased demand from Asia.
Hardwood pulp prices gained 9 percent in the first three months of this year in Asia, Copec said today in a statement accompanying first-quarter earnings. Hardwood pulp rose 12 percent in Europe and 8 percent in the U.S., the company said. Softwood pulp rose by a smaller margin, it said.
Copec’s forestry unit is spending $2 billion to expand in southern Chile, Brazil and Uruguay as it bets global demand for paper and wooden boards will rise. The company, based in Santiago, partnered Brazil’s Klabin SA (KLBN4) to buy timberland worth $473.5 million in southern Brazil last year and is building a plant in Uruguay with Finland’s Stora Enso Oyj.
Copec’s first-quarter profit fell 48 percent to $154 million from $295 million a year ago, according to data on the Chilean securities regulator’s website. Net income slid as revenue from the company’s fish, forestry and fuel distribution units declined compared with the same quarter last year. Timber prices to Asia fell in the first quarter, the company said.
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