Although forest resources are immense, exploitation is limited by lack of roads and mechanized transport facilities. About 59% of Paraguay's total land area consists of forest (23.4 million hectares/57.7 million acres in 2000). However, much of that lies in the western Chaco, the forest resources of which have never been exploited. Roundwood cuttings totaled 9.59 million cu m (338.5 million cu ft) in 2000, with 58% used for fuel wood.
Exportation of logs was banned in 1973 in order to encourage the domestic lumber industry; forest products earned $42.4 million on the export market during 2000.
The chief forest products are quebracho, various cabinet and other tropical hardwoods, and oil of petitgrain. Quebracho, the source of the tannin used by the leather-tanning industry, is the wood of the greatest commercial importance. Paraguay is the world's largest producer of petitgrain oil, a perfume base distilled from the leaves and shoots of the bitter orange tree. Since wood and charcoal are the only fuels produced in Paraguay, about two-thirds of all wood cut is used for burning.