Country Report

Brazil – Latin America’s Leader in Towel and Tissue Production.

Select a figure to view: Figure 1
Distribution of T&T production in the Latin America Region.
Figure 2
Distribution of T&T paper machines in the Latin America Region.
Figure 3
Distribution of T&T paper machine trims in the Latin American Region.
Figure 4
Technical Ager versus production country comparison of T&T paper machines.
Figure 5
Fibre mix comparison for Latin American tissue producing countries.
Figure 6
Latin American regional cost curve for T&T production.
Figure 7
Distribution of Brazilian T&T paper machines by production rate.
Figure 8
Distribution of Brazilian T&T paper machines by trim class.
Figure 9
Distribution of Brazilian T&T paper machines by speed class.
Figure 10
Distribution of Brazilian T&T paper machines by company country location.
Map 1
Pulp and Paper mill locations in the Latin American Region with T&T mills highlighted.
Map 2
T&T Paper mill locations in Brazil.

Good things come in fives for Brazil. Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world with a landmass just slightly smaller than the United States of America. It is also fifth in population with over 203m people, and fifth in Towel and Tissue (T&T) production. Agriculture is a major part of Brazil’s economy representing about 20% and growing at a pace to become a super power on the world stage. Other major industries include mining, manufacturing and services.

The climate in Brazil varies from tropical to temperate with the tropical forests of the Amazon Basin being the area most identified with the nation. Concerns over deforestation of the Amazon are often expressed in the media but in Brazil the paper industry, almost exclusively it should be noted, is not contributing to the concerns. That’s because nearly all wood for paper comes from pine and eucalyptus plantations.

Paper production in Latin America is concentrated in Brazil and Mexico (Map 1). Brazilian paper making is concentrated in the east; especially the southern areas along the coast. These areas are also the most urbanised of Brazil and home to much of the population as Brazil is more than 85% urban. T&T paper mills are part of this concentration (Map 2). Brazil ranks first in Latin American T&T production with Mexico being the only other country near its capacity (Figure 1). It also has the greatest number of operating machines, outpacing Mexico by a big margin (Figure 2). T&T machines in Latin America vary from very narrow to the widest being in the five meter class. Brazil has machines that cover the full range with the average being in the 2.4 range (Figure 3). Average machine production is greater in Mexico, Venezuela and El Salvador while average tech age throughout the region is fairly consistent at around 15-25 years (Figure 4). It is noteworthy that the fibre mix in Latin America is heavily weighted to secondary fibre. Even Brazil with its rich plantation wood base is more than 50% recycled (Figure 5). Brazil’s cost position is middleof- the-road for Latin America (Figure 6).

Brazilian machine production rates tend to be modest with more than half of the machines under 20,000 mt/y (Figure 7). Machine trims could explain the modest rates. Over 75% of the Brazilian machines are in the two to three class trim width (Figure 8). Machine speeds are also on the modest side with less than 15% if Brazilian machines over 1,500 mpm (Figure 9). Company ownership is mostly local with about 90% of the mills being owned by companies headquartered in Brazil (Figure 10).

Data Tables behind Figures 1 – 10 can be obtained from Fisher International. E-mail requests to [email protected].

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