January 20, 2022 Notícias No Comments

In an exclusive interview with B. Forest magazine, Antonio Joaquim de Oliveira, the CEO of Dexco, talks about his career in the market, transition from the Duratex brand to the new corporate identity and present a relevant vision of the wood market and wood supply of large projects in Brazil and worldwide.

1. First of all, Antonio Joaquim, tell us a little bit about your trajectory.

I am a forestry engineer, graduated from the University of Viçosa in the 80s, so I’ve been in the forestry market for about 35 years. After my master’s degree I started my work at Duratex, today Dexco and I stayed for many years in the forestry operation, for 15 years as director and then I was assuming other functions, such as the vice presidency of the timber business unit and now in the last eight years as CEO. This is a brief report, a lot of time in the industry, lots of white hair.

2. Recently there has been the brand transition from Duratex to Dexco. How was this process for the company?

This is a process that had been thought of for a long time. There are numerous reasons for this. We invest in a marketing work aligned with brand strategy. Trying to make a summary of the reasons, Duratex is essentially associated with the wood product, so, as we had a corporate name that was both corporate and product brand, this caused us some problems. For example, few associated Deca’s operations with Duratex. Everyone imagined that Deca was an independent company, when in fact it was just a brand of products. Thinking about this example and other situations, we’ve matured this for a long time. It was a work done together with the agency Africa, which is the largest advertising agency in Brazil, along with Interbrand, which is a brand agency. This work took two or three years, even was delayed by the pandemic and now we launched this corporate brand, because today, the weight of the wood panel business itself, within the organization, it has diluted itself as we entered into new businesses, as dissolving wood pulp, Deca itself, and ceramic coatings such as Cecrisa Ceusa. With this portfolio of brands, we position ourselves as a company providing solutions for civil construction in general. This moment is what motivated us to change, and we are very pleased with the result.

3. What is the representativeness of the forestry market with in Dexco’s business?

The forest-based sector is the largest sector of the company, responsible for the largest investments, largest number of assets and we’re kind of doubling the bet. We redirect the wood business not to be only in the wood panel industry, but we also enter in the dissolving wood pulp sector. This project is planned for March 2022, in Minas Gerais state, with an exceptional plant, and consequently a great forest operation as well. Inside Dexco we have a subdivision that we call the wood business, a vice presidency covering dissolving wood pulp and wood panels, and also counting on Colombia’s operations which are wood and forest. But we don’t stop here. We work to create future options from forests. We are developing an important forestry project in north-eastern Brazil, forest only. Creating the conditions for a future panel factory, or a future line of dissolving wood pulp, whatever it may be… This long-term project is in an accelerated phase. We really see the forest as a very important basis for these company businesses and we don’t rule out that there might be other forest businesses that could be interesting to us.

4.  We have discussed a lot about the wood market, supply, and the future perspectives. How Dexco see this scenario?

Something’s happening now that I’ve been predicting for a long time. There is widespread shortage of wood in the world. There is an imbalance and important consultancies already point to this instability in the wood supply in Asia, Europe, and a little bit in the United States, there are still forests there, but, in general, the global balance of planted forests is deficient. Brazil is experiencing a very critical moment in this regard. Today, for large forest projects, the forest coming from the market is almost a non-option, because the availability is really low, prices are prohibitive. Dexco has always based its strategy on a 100% self-sufficient supply, that’s what we’re looking for, we are close to 95% of own supply, even considering the expansions. We believe that companies will have to develop very strong forest investment cycles, from now on, you see in the newspapers, any new project that will emerge, whether in wood or sawmill… any new medium-tolarge project will have to worry about and develop a self-sufficiency of supply, or else substantially increase the share of own forests. I see that this moment is very important for the forest engineering, the projects development will require a lot of skill of the managers of supply and negotiations… Forest is a long-term item. I usually say that considering the business involving wood, the issue is not in the factories, they are a shelf item, you design and buy a mil It is always available for acquisition, but the forest is not. The availability of land at competitive prices has become scarce, it is the great challenge of the new forest frontiers, so it needs to be better managed.

5. What are the prospects of the construction market for the coming years?

We are very optimistic about the market outlook for the coming years, especially speaking in 2022, 2023. Dexco has a 5-year strategic plan, where the growth outlook is positive. There is a large housing deficit in Brazil, but besides it, there is another that people do not count, which is the deficit in the quality of housing. In this scenario, there is a huge market for home renovations, improvements, and with that come cabinets, and the products that we supply. The renovation and construction market accounts for 70% of our revenues. Not to mention that there are numerous housing launches in Brazil that have taken advantage of this latest cycle of low interest rates. The construction sector has had a great stimulus so there will be a very strong demand for these products in the coming years. With this vision, we expand all the lines, whether in Deca, ceramic flooring, wood… We are working on expansion because we really believe in the market potential.

Written by Malinovski