• Colombia

Overview of timber sector of Colombia

Supply chain actors

Important sectors in Colombia’s timber sector are the paper and furniture manufacturing sectors. The paper sector is an important import and export sector for Colombia. The sawmilling sector is relatively small and undeveloped in Colombia. The country officially counts 77 companies engaged in sawing and impregnation of wood, most of which have a small installed capacity (Oliver, 2013).

Production and processing

Main harvested species

About 250 timber species are used by the timber industry under cutting permits in natural forest. Many timber species are subject to uncontrolled salvage logging, especially in the Pacific region (ITTO, 2011).

The most harvested and traded species in Colombia are:

  • Cumala (Virola spp.)
  • Cativo (Prioria copaifera)
  • Sajo (Campnosperma panamensis)
  • Abarco (Cariniana pyriformis)
  • Cedro (Cedrela odorata)
  • Cedro rosado (Tabebuia serratifolia/T. rosea)
  • Sande/Huina (Brosimum utile)
  • Andiroba (Carapa guianensis).
  • Eucalyptus spp.
  • Pinus spp (ITTO, 2011).)

Although forests cover more than half of Colombia, the total domestic production is relatively low compared with the potential of the country and Colombia is in fact importing wood (mainly sawnwood) from neighbouring countries.

In 2018, the industry of Colombia produced about 2.8 million m³ of logs, almost all of it served the domestic market. Roundwood logs are used for industrial processing (sawnwood, plywood, particleboard and pulp), or fuelwood. The average harvest in natural forest is in the range of 20–50 m3 per hectare.


According to the ITC, in 2020 Colombia exported 3 million USD worth of pulp, and 243 million USD in paper and cardboard. The same year, Colombia imported 130 million USD of pulp, half of which came from the United States, and the other half from Brazil and Chile. The country also imported 508 million USD worth of paper and cardboard, mainly from the United States, Brazil, and China.

Export of primary timber products in 2018 was dominated by export of logs (see table). Total export value of primary timber products in 2018 was around 22 million US dollars, and the first target region is South America with 40% of exports.


Timber export Colombia

Logistics infrastructure

The main ports in Colombia with a container liner service are Barranquilla, Buenaventura, Cartagena, San Andres Island, Santa Marta et Turbo.

The largest market for Colombian wood product exports are India, Vietnam, and China, although other countries in South America are also important export markets.

Data table

(X 1000m3)
(X 1000m3)
Domestic consumption
(X 1000m3)
(X 1000m3)
logs 3.138 0 3.037 101
Sawnwood 320 25 326 19
Veneer 1 1 2 0
Plywood 40 36 76 0

ITTO (2019), data 2017