Chilean forestry exports will total $5.3 billion by value in 2016, 3 percent less than last year, as supply has increased and the economies of key export markets remain sluggish, an industry body said on Tuesday.
The Chilean Wood Corporation (Corma) said in a statement that exports in 2017 would remain steady or rise slightly to the $5.3 billion to $5.4 billion range.
"The 3 percent fall in the total amount is due principally to declines in international prices for the principal forest products, while there has been an increase in exported volumes," Corma President Fernando Raga said in a statement.
Corma predicted prices for long fiber products would begin to rise in the second half of 2017. Short fiber products would likely end 2017 at price levels similar to 2016, Corma said, as new projects expand production.
Chile's forest products industry, the nation's second biggest by exports after copper mining, is led by Empresas Copec subsidiary Arauco, Empresas CMPC, and Masisa.
(Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Bill Trott)