ARAUCO – Planting the Seeds of Success in China
One of the largest forestry companies in the world employing over 13,000 people, ARAUCO has 30 global production facilities and a sales presence in over 80 countries. Charles Kimber, Arauco’s Senior Vice President of Commercial and Corporate Affairs shares his thoughts on business in China.
ARAUCO started doing business with China in 1977 with sales of saw logs for the saw timber industry and wood pulp for the paper industry. Our annual pulp sales have increased to over one thousand million dollars, and important volumes of saw timber have been added to our product offering. When ARAUCO entered the Chinese market, our export products were shipped to only one port in China. Today, we have over 200 customers and deliver products to paper producers and wood product processors across the country.
ARAUCO is currently one of China’s main pulp suppliers and our continuous presence in the Chinese market for over 38 years has helped us build steady and trustworthy relationships in China.
What factors contributed to ARAUCO’s successes in China?
Gaining the trust of the Chinese market takes years of work and ARAUCO was able to pass that hurdle. However, maintaining trust is no less of a challenge. Since we have been in China, we have experienced the changes in the market. Initially we saw China as a spot market with significant variations. Today, customers in the Chinese market require agreements from suppliers that translate into annual sales programs. A key factor for our success in China has been the Country’s sustained growth rate. Chile and China have also driven and promoted alliances and agreements which have contributed to our strong and stable trade relationship.
What does the future hold?
China is ARAUCO’s largest market and our presence here is very important. The Chinese market has the greatest growth rates in the world in terms of wood pulp, paper consumption, and wood products in general. In addition to the Country being an exporter of finished products that require importing raw materials, there is huge potential in China for growth right across the domestic end-consumer market. Following our strategy and long term vision, ARAUCO will continue to support the growth of the Chinese paper and wood products industries with quality products and our reliable commercial partnership approach to doing business.