There are many reasons why the pulp industry is moving South. “Were it not for labour unions at home, we would be moving all of our production capacity to countries like Brazil,” a Stora Enso official told the Financial Times in 2005. I discussed this issue in a report I wrote a couple of years ago: “Plantations, Poverty and Power“.
One of the reasons is that fast-growing tree plantations in Brazil are precisely that: fast-growing. Recently, a colleague sent me the chart below, which illustrates the point very well. It compares the area of plantations needed to provide enough raw material to produce one million tonnes of pulp a year in Scandinavia, Portugal and Brazil:
Source: Sergio Schlesinger presentation at FASE workshop on climate change, energy and agrobusiness in Brazil, April 2010, based on information from Pöyry.