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Wood exports to U.S. decline due to inflation

By Le Hoang

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HCMC – Wood exports to the U.S are declining due to inflation, hindering the growth of the wood industry in the second half of this year.

The United States was the biggest buyer of Vietnam’s wood products in the first half of the year. The value of wood exports to this market accounted for 60.8% of the nation’s total figure, according to data from the Vietnam Timber & Forest Products Association (VIFORES).

However, the proportion of wood exports to the U.S. declined by 3.9%, compared to the same period last year.

In the first half of this year, the U.S. imported wood products from Vietnam with a total value of more than US$4.86 billion, down 3.7% over the same period last year, according to statistics from the General Department of Vietnam Customs. The total value of wood exports to the U.S. market accounted for 58% of Vietnam’s export value of these products, lower than the figure in the previous two months (60%).

The U.S. economy has been facing runaway inflation, causing a decrease in the import demand and directly affecting Vietnam’s wood exports to this market, according to a representative of VIFORES.

Furniture was the major group of export products in the first six months of this year, with a turnover of US$5.5 billion. It was mainly exported to the U.S. (accounting for 80.6%), with the export value reaching US$4.4 billion, down 5.7%.

Despite the decrease in wood exports to the U.S., Vietnam is still one of the U.S.’ largest suppliers of wooden furniture, according to the International Trade Centre.

Revenue from wood exports in the second half of the year is usually higher than that of the first half due to the high demand for furniture at the end of the year.

However, the rising inflation in the U.S. and European countries has greatly affected middle- and low-income groups and forced them to tighten their spending. This could lead to a decline in the demand for non-essential goods such as wood products.

Vietnam’s wood export industry had to face many challenges in the second half of this year. The export target of US$16.5 billion seems quite hard to achieve although the value of wood exports to Asian countries increased recently.

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