Paper and paper board
In most areas where forest covers exceed the area devoted for agriculture, the forest resources obtained play a major role in the export market. This is especially true in case of Portugal which is located in the south western part of the European continent where the forest resources comprise about 10% of the exports. One of the foremost products obtained from the Portuguese forests are paper and paperboard. The forest cover in Portugal occupies about 38% of the total land area and a major part is comprised of timber and eucalyptus cultivations which are the primary raw materials for the paper and paperboard industries. Paperboard is usually thicker than paper and is used in the form of huge boxes or cartons which are necessary as packages and also in order to carry heavy weights around. In Portugal, paper and paperboard are among the foremost forest resources which are exported and various industries and mills have been set up in order to season the products before making it available for export. In the recent past, huge tracts of forest area have been lost in Portugal due to forest fires which adversely affected the production of paperboard as domestic production failed to meet the demands.
Statistics reveal that since 1997 the paper and paperboard industry had shown an upward rise in the production graph. In the years that followed production was slackened due to improper forest management and natural hazards. However, since 2003, the production level has increased again and between 2003 and 2004, there has been recorded a total 4% increase in sales. This is due to the expansion of the export market. Along with the countries of the European Union which constituted its primary exports like France, Germany and Spain, at present the Middle East, Asia, America and Oceania too have engaged in importing Portuguese paperboards as well which has positively boosted the market.