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Monday,  Dec 18,2017,08:28 (GMT+7)

Vietnam targets US$8 billion of wood exports in 2017

Thuy Dung
Saturday,  Oct 7,2017,23:23 (GMT+7)
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Vietnam targets US$8 billion of wood exports in 2017

Thuy Dung

Workers are finishing a wooden product at a local factory - PHOTO: TL

HANOI – With impressive growth in the first nine months of 2017, Vietnam’s woodworking sector is pinning high hopes on export revenue of US$8 billion from wood and wooden products in 2017, or a 17% year-on-year increase, heard a conference on wood and wooden product export in Hanoi yesterday.

According to Nguyen Ton Quyen, general secretary of the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association (Vifores), wood and wooden product exports brought in US$5.9 billion in January-September, with average growth of 11% per month.

The year’s last three months is the peak season for wood and wooden product exports, so the woodworking industry’s target of US$8 billion of exports in 2017 is completely attainable.

Quyen said Vietnam’s wooden products gaining the highest export growth rates in January-September included particle board, artificial wood board, melamine-faced chipboard (MDF) and wood pellet.

Besides, Vietnam has penetrated some new markets, which is expected to boost wood exports in the coming years.

However, the country is facing several challenges, including the short supply of raw wood.
China’s ban on natural forest logging, and Vietnam’s and other countries’ restrictions in the trade, exploitation and export of raw wood have made the supply of raw wood fall short not only in Vietnam but globally.

In addition, some of Vietnam’s major wood and wooden product importers such as the U.S., Australia and the EU will strictly demand the legal origin of wood. This means wood must come from those forests grown under sustainable forest management standards of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and must be imported from non-risk sources.

To Xuan Phuc, an expert from non-profit organization Forest Trends, said at the conference that U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies to keep “jobs and wealth inside the United States” may result in the country’s restriction on Vietnamese wood imports. According to Phuc, Vietnam exported US$2.7 billion worth of wood and wooden products to the U.S. in 2016.

Other big markets for Vietnamese wooden products, including South Korea and Japan, are taking measures to strictly control wood origin. Particularly, the South Korean government will require importers to declare the legality and origin of wood and wooden products imported into the country from late 2017. Japan will do the same in March 2018.

Therefore, Vietnamese wood processors and exporters need to have specific solutions and long-term strategies to reduce risks and boost export growth.

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