Export of wood and forest products recorded strong growth from the beginning of the year. This is an agricultural and forestry group with the largest export value. According to the current market situation, it is expected that the export of wood and wood products will continue to grow strongly in the coming time because there is a large room to develop.

Wood processing for export. (Photo: Internet)

Strong increase in export in major markets

According to the MARD, the export turnover of wood and wood products in the first four months of 2022 reached 5.48 billion USD, an increase of 4.9% compared to the same period last year. The turnover in April alone is 1.5 billion USD, up 7.3% year-on-year.

Mr. Do Xuan Lap, Chairman of the Vietnam Wood and Forest Products Association said that the implementation of EVFTA and CPTPP has helped Vietnam’s wood processing industry have many advantages in bringing products to the markets, increasing competitiveness with other countries’ products of the same type.

Since the beginning of the year, the export value of wood and wood products has increased in most markets, in which, the US, Japan, and China are the largest importers of Vietnam (accounting for 79.3% of the total export value of wood and wood products).

As for Mr. Nguyen Chanh Phuong  Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Wood Processing and Arts Association, in the previous time, the export of wooden furniture items has increased strongly in large, high-value markets.

Regarding the potential of wood and forest products export, Mr. Nguyen Quoc Toan – Director of the Agricultural Processing and Market Development Department (MARD), commented that wood and forest products have the strongest export value of agricultural and forestry products in Vietnam.

The export target of this group in 2022 is 18 billion USD and can be achieved. Currently, many enterprises have closed orders until the end of the third quarter of 2022 while some enterprises have closed orders until the end of 2022. The US and EU account for 80% of Vietnam’s export of wood and forest products. There is a large room for development in the coming time.

Finding directions for sustainable development

Despite the high growth in export, wood and wood products are facing many challenges in terms of sustainable development.

The export of wood and wood products is expected to continue to grow strongly in the coming time. (Photo: Internet)

According to Mr. Do Xuan Lap, the biggest difficulty of the wood industry is the source of processing materials for export. Currently, the amount of wood planted in the country meets about 70% of the demand of wood exporters. Meanwhile, domestic material wood export in the previous period has tended to increase. Mr. Vo Quang Ha – General Director of Tan Vinh Cuu Joint Stock Company (TAVICO) said that, along with the “problem” of raw materials, transportation costs, production, and export costs are also the challenges that need to be solved.

Mr. Nguyen Quoc Toan – Director of the Agricultural Products Market Processing and Development Department (MARD) said that, for sustainable development, Vietnamese enterprises need to invest in technology and limit the production of wood chips, round wood, and raw materials by strongly aiming at refined products and at the same time, developing chain-linked production models.

On March 10, 2022, Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh approved the Scheme for the development of a sustainable and efficient wood processing industry between 2021-2030. The target is by 2030, the wood processing industry will become an important economic sector; build and develop the prestigious Vietnamese wood product brand on the domestic and international markets; strive for Vietnam to be among the world leaders in the wood production, processing, and export.

According to Mr. Phung Duc Tien – Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, this is the basis for the wood industry to overcome its current shortcomings. Regarding raw materials, the Scheme has set the goal of forming five high-tech forestry zones, attracting investment from wood processing enterprises and auxiliary material production enterprises. At the same time, wood processing industrial zones will be expanded in localities with potential and advantages. The wood industry will prioritize projects which produce high value-added products, advanced technologies, energy-saving, etc.

In particular, in the coming time, the MARD will coordinate with ministries and sectors to promote enterprises to invest in supporting industries and prioritize the development of logistics services. Along with that, Vietnam will develop the brand, and encourage wood processing enterprises to use the brand “Vietnamese Wood”.

On the other hand, we will promote e-commerce, database formation, digital transformation in production and business, and apply information technology for online sales or via e-commerce platforms.