Forestry and forest products
In the country of Portugal, a total of an estimated 38% of the total land area of the country is devoted to forest covers and most of the major forest products like paper and wood pulp, cork etc. are significant contributors to the progressing Portuguese economy and in recent years, a considerable increase in production of these products have allowed greater quantity of exports thus resulting in profits. Some of the most important forest products obtained from Portugal are cork, wood pulp, paper pulp and paper board, eucalyptus, cellulose and wood for furniture etc. It is known that in Portugal the amount of land area devoted to forest cover is much more than that dedicated to agriculture and about 31% of the forest area is occupied by the wild pines which refer to an estimated area of 976,000 hectares while the cork plantations cover 23% area i.e. 713,000 hectares with eucalyptus accounting for 23% of the forest area. The abundance of forest resources has therefore resulted in the growth of various industries dedicated to the seasoning and packaging and modification of these products to prepare them for sale in the foreign markets. The most important industry that has evolved is that of the paper mills and in Portugal the pulp and paper industry is one of the prominent players in the international market with Portugal occupying the fifth position among the various European countries in terms of production.
The Portucel Soporcel group is the major company in Portugal devoted to paper production and it is one of the largest manufacturers of uncoated woodfree paper in Europe. However, according to the National Forest Inventory, a significant shortcoming in this respect is that despite increase in production, the timber resources of the country are not satisfactorily up to the mark to meet the rising demands at present. For this reason, special measures are been taken in order to increase eucalyptus plantations and ensure prevention of forest fires.