Wood products exports remain on course to hit target: industry association

By Vien Thong   October 8, 2022 | 04:16 pm PT
Vietnam’s woodwork exports are expected to top US$16.5 billion this year, up from $14.12 billion in 2021, the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of Ho Chi Minh City said.

Though orders for the fourth quarter have dwindled, "the export target of US$16.5 billion ... is attainable," Nguyen Chanh Phuong, vice president and general secretary of HAWA, said.

The export of wood and wood-based products, including furniture, in the first nine months was worth $12.4 billion, a year-on-year increase of 11.4%, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

With American and European consumers spending less due to inflation fears and China’s economy, especially the real estate sector, slowing down, Vietnamese woodwork firms are getting fewer orders.

Vietnam ships wood products to some 160 countries and territories, but 90% last year was to the U.S., China, Japan, South Korea, and Europe.

The industry is likely to turn inward to tap the domestic market, especially since construction has revived after Covid-19, HAWA said, noting that some 30% of companies serve the local market.

A plan for this decade, approved by the government in March, envisages the industry’s revenues rising by 2030 to US$6 billion in the domestic market and US$25 billion from exports.

To achieve them, experts said furniture producers should replace outdated equipment and technology and improve management.

Only 5-10% of firms use modern machines, Vecta, a supplier of wood-processing equipment, said.

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