In Portugal a total of about 38% area is devoted to forest cover compared to 31% which is reserved for agricultural purposes. The forest resources in Portugal are extremely important for the economic growth of the country as a considerable amount of the produce is exported in huge quantities to mostly various countries of the Europeans union itself. It can be estimated that about 31% of the total forestry area in Portugal is occupied by pines and around 21% is acquired by eucalyptus. Both of these are significant contributors to the Portuguese paper and pulp industries serving as raw materials in the mills. Wood pulp is developed by employing various physical and chemical processes in order to segregate the fibers that make up wood. Wood pulp itself is a fibrous substance as well and its production is facilitated by the pulp wood which refers to the timber which is grown especially for the purpose of obtaining wood pulp. The various kinds of softwood trees like pine and eucalyptus, which are grown extensively in Portugal, help in the production of wood pulp.
It is to be noted that in recent times the wood pulp industry ahs been affected greatly due to a fall in the number of timber plantations. This reduction in vegetation has been caused by forest fires mainly along with the absence of proper forest management policies. All this has led to a fall of about 5.4 million of timber plantations in Portugal. In case of eucalyptus, the last decade or so has seen a considerable fall in production due to around 119,000 hectares of eucalyptus been destroyed by fires and the absence of proper raw materials immensely affected the quality and the industry as a whole. However, since 2004, wood pulp production has again taken an upward swing with production increasing by about 1% and the trend continues with an increase in wood pulp integration since 2006.