The Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association reported it is on track to reach its USD 11 billion export turnover target this year. Around 45% of the country’s timber exports by value go to the US. Exports to the US market were growing by 15-17% annually but the value during the first nine months of 2019 at USD 2.7 billion, was up 32.8% compared to the same period in 2018, as Vietnam is benefiting from the US-China trade war. The second half of the year is considered to be the main season for the business.
In 2019, Vietnam’s exports of these products to the EU is expected to reach USD 700 million compared to USD 680 million in 2018. The EU market which was previously importing primarily outdoor wooden furniture, has increased imports of higher value indoor wooden furniture in 2019. Going forward, exports of timber and wooden products to the EU also have good prospects due to the Voluntary Partnership Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (VPA/FLECT) and the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). According to the industry association, Vietnamese businesses should invest in equipment, technology and materials following market demand to seize opportunities in the EU market,
Meanwhile Vietnam’s export of wooden products to Japan is expected to reach USD 1 billion in 2019. More than half of Japan’s kitchen furniture imports come from Vietnam. Demand from Japan is driven by not just furniture but also wood pellets. Japan is using wood pellets to replace fossil Energy sources such as coal, oil and gas for thermal power plants and also in heating equipment for the industrial sector and civil activities. Recently, Japanese enterprises have invested in three wood pellet production factories in Nghe An Province, producing wood pellets for export to Japan.
(Source: Vietnam News)