Wooden product exports set to retain two-digit growth in 2019
Vietnam’s wood industry is expected to maintain a two-digit growth in the export of wooden products in 2019 as it reaped in 2018 with the export value of USD8.476 billion, up 14.5% on year.
The achievements came under spotlight in the industry’s annual report newly released by the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association (VIFORES) and other stakeholders.
Domestic firms accounted for 53 percent of the total export revenue, and the sector has been able to source 75% of material wood domestically, said VIFORES Vice Chairman Nguyen Ton Quyen.
Quyen went on to say that the wood industry has 867 foreign-invested firms with a combined investment capital of USD5.5 billion. Most of them are operating on a small scale, with capital averaging USD4 – 5 million each.
Among the foreign firms, 529 are involved in for-export production. They contributed nearly USD4 billion, or 47%, to the wood industry’s total export revenue last year.
The United States was the largest importer of Vietnamese wooden products in 2018, with the trading value of USD3.6 billion (up 17% on year), or 43% of Vietnam’s total wooden product exports.
It was followed by Japan with the import value of USD1.1 billion, equivalent to 13% of the Vietnamese wood industry’s total export turnover.
The EU was Vietnam’s third largest importer of wooden products. In 2018, the bloc spent US$785 million on buying wooden products from Vietnam, representing 9% of the ASEAN member states’ total wooden product exports.
The wood industry was estimated to continue to hold a two-digit growth in wooden product exports in 2019, with the value likely amounting to USD10.5 billion.
To Xuan Phuc, an analyst from the non-profit organization Forest Trends stressed that the local wood industry has made progress with the increasing import of clear-origin wood inputs. Last year, Vietnam spent USD2.34 billion on importing wood inputs, surging by 7.6% on year.
However, the analyst noted that the industry must keep a close watch on the legality of imported material wood, especially those from high-risk sources.