NRDCL’s earnings dropped by 20% last year compared to 2019

The company earned Nu 630.32mn last year

The Natural Resources Development Corporation Limited (NRDCL) earned Nu 630.32mn last year from the supply of forest and non-forest products such as timber, firewood, sand, stone and stone chips, according to the recent statistical release of agriculture ministry’s Renewable National Resources.

The earnings in 2020 is a drop by 20% compared to the 2019 earnings, which stood at Nu 787.39mn in 2019 (almost the double from the year 2015 at Nu 428.38mn).

The decline in the earnings was notably from Bhutan’s first case of COVID-19 on March 6, 2020 that restricted the entry of foreign workers in the country.

“Industry contracted by 1.1%, tracking declines in construction and manufacturing caused by a migrant labor shortage, disrupted supply of raw materials, and subdued domestic demand,” states the Asian Development Outlook Report 2021.

Further, it is stated that the industry is expected to contract by 3.2% in FY2021 as the continuing acute migrant labor shortage further stymies construction and manufacturing.

The extraction of different natural resources products or forests products by NRDCL is categorized as timber, firewood and woodchips, stone and sand.

The supply of timber that consists of production and disposal of timber for rural, commercial, dzong and lhakhang construction was recorded at 1.69mn cubic feet (cft) in 2020 compared to 2.5mn in 2019. The timber also consists of logs, blocks, poles and sawn timber.

The NRDCL made Nu 1,517mn revenue through the supply of timber from 2015 to 2020.

Similarly, the supply of firewood and woodchips that consists of firewood mostly used for cooking in institutions, schools, armed forces, road construction and residential house warming purposes was reported at 30,068 cubic metre (m3) in 2020 and 3,753m3 in 2019.

However, the supply of firewood has decreased by 26% in 2020 compared to the year 2015. The supply of firewood was based on the demand and subject to availability of lops and tops and residues after extraction of prime timber. Additionally, it includes woodchip supplied to meet the demand of industries such as Ferro Alloys.

The supply of firewood also contributed about Nu 55.87mn from 2015 to 2020. Moreover, the NRDCL has supplied Nu 1.87mn worth of free firewood to Thimphu cremation ground as a contribution to social welfare during the same period.

Stone and sand category include stone and sand which are the major dredging and surface collection outputs of Wangdue, Gelephu, Samtse, Phuentsholing, Mongar, Trashigang and Samdrup Jongkhar.

In terms of stone, the NRDCL supplied 13.02mn cft in 2020 and 26.147mn cft in 2019. Moreover, the supply of stone-chips decreased by 44% in 2020 compared to 2015 and was recorded at about 0.7mn cft in 2020 and 0.94mn cft in 2019.

Similarly, the supply of sand increased by 47% in 2020 compared to 2015 and it was reported at 0.48 m3 in 2020 and 0.52mn m3 in 2019.

About Nu 1,136mn revenue was generated through surface collection from 2015 to 2020.

Additionally, the supply of sand alone contributed about Nu 781mn, stone Nu 214mn, and stone chips about Nu 141mn during the same period.