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Exports of wood products increase in first 5 months

2013-06-13 11:11:33

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Wood products are expected to fetch US$5.5 billion in export value this year as targeted, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

In the first five months, wood and wood products gained a year-on-year increase of 10.4 per cent in export value to $2 billion.

Those products achieved an average export value of $400 million each month during the first quarter this year. The figure saw a year-on-year surge of 35.2 per cent in the first two months to $809 million and grew 15.7 per cent in the first three months to $1.17 billion.

Viet Nam also increased wood and wood product exports to its various markets, excluding Germany.

The country saw a surge of 20.7 per cent in wood and wood product exports to South Korea, as well as growth of 19.1 per cent in export to China, 16.3 per cent to Japan and 6 per cent to the US.

Vo Truong Thanh, head of the Truong Thanh Wood Technical Group, said the economy in major export markets for these products had recovered, while rivals had reduced competitiveness in production and exports.

He predicted that demand for wood and wood products would increase again in the coming months.

MARD estimated that the export value of processed wood products would see a year-on-year increase of 10-15 per cent to $5.5 billion.

However, enterprises exporting wood products would face many difficulties in production and business due to high input costs.

Many enterprises were forced to import 70 per cent of the raw materials they needed, as local companies could meet only 30 per cent of their requirements.

Viet Nam will reduce the volume of natural wood exploited this year and plans to stop exploiting natural wood next year, so the local timber industry must make plans to maintain and expand production in order to achieve its export turnover target of $5.5 billion this year, the ministry said.

The country has drawn up sustainable growth plans for the wood product processing industry up to 2020, according to MARD.

The industry will prioritise investing in and utilising domestic forests while reducing raw wood exports and improving management of supply.

Viet Nam needs an annual 3-3.5 million cubic metres of raw wood materials on average.

As domestic suppliers are currently only capable of meeting 30 per cent of the demand, the nation would import 4-4.5 million cubic metres yearly by 2020, the ministry said.