Vietnam exported 9.58 billion USD worth of wood and wood products in the first seven months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 55 percent, according to the General Department of Customs.
Of the figure, wood products raked in 7.44 billion USD, posting a 64-percent rise compared with the same period last year.
Local experts contributed the impressive growth of wood export to the fact that the demand for furniture increases during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Dien Quang Hiep, chairman of Binh Duong Furniture Association (BIFA), shipments to the main export markets of the Binh Duong wood processing industry surge considerably.
The US market accounted for more than 65 percent of Binh Duong's total wood product export turnover, with an increase of 81 percent over the same period last year while Hong Kong (China) market made up 8.5 percent, with an increase of more than 47 percent, and Taiwan (China) market picked up 43 percent.
A similar situation is also reported in the central province of Binh Dinh.
Ngo Van Tong, director of Binh Dinh Department of Industry and Trade said local wood products have been exported to countries in Europe, Oceania, America, Asia, and Africa. The province’s furniture exporters have received orders until the end of the third quarter of this year.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many difficulties for trade and transportation activities, resulting in changes in working and living lifestyle of people, with consumers purchasing more furniture to maintain work and life at home. Thus, Hiep said, the province's export turnover of living room and dining room furniture is forecast to rise rapidly in the coming time.
To be able to meet the orders of wood products, wood processing enterprises in Binh Duong have quickly adapted and changed their production methods accordingly, he said, adding that some businesses are renting more land to open factories.
Bui Chinh Nghia, deputy general director of the Vietnam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said along with the US, Japan, and Hong Kong (China) markets, Vietnam’s export turnover of wood and wood products to the European market would increase sharply in the last months of 2021 when the COVID-19 pandemic is brought under control and the prevention measures are gradually eased.
Although Vietnam's wood processing and export industry has gained a momentum given the context that the whole country is coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, challenges still lie ahead.
According to Nguyen Liem, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lam Viet Company in Binh Duong province, the high growth in export value of the wood industry in the past two years contains potential risks because the United States would increase defensive measures for imports with sudden growth.
Therefore, enterprises that export furniture for living and dining rooms should be careful to avoid becoming a transit point for goods to a third country, he said, adding that if the US imposes sanctions on Vietnam's wood industry, the whole sector would be seriously affected.
Another problem for the sector is the lack of empty containers for shipments, which has pushed transport cost up by twice, thrice and even 10 times in the past two-three years. /.
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