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Good year for all leading timber exporters

Update: June, 16/2012 - 06:53

 

Workers at My Thanh Factory in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai's K' Bang District produce wooden chairs for export. Many domestic wood processors still face difficulties raising capital. — VNA/VNS Photo Sy Huynh
HA NOI — Increases in export orders of wood products are likely to see the sector hitting a value of US$4 billion in wood exports for this year, slightly higher than last year's US$3.9 billion.

Nguyen Chien Thang, chairman of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (HAWA), said almost all major wood processors had signed export contracts to be fulfilled by the end of this June.

However, Thang said many domestic wood processors still faced difficulties in ensuring capital and in overcoming surging production costs.

"One important thing now is that local producers should improve marketing activities and the designs of their products," he said.

Vo Truong Thanh, chairman of the Binh Duong Furniture Association (Bifa), said recently, export orders of wood products had increased in volume and value after a long period of sluggish exports.

Exports were held back in part due to a shortage of supply, as many small- and medium-sized wood producers had reduced production or closed due to difficulties in capital and short supply of raw materials, Thanh said.

The time was right for wood export producers in Viet Nam to increase exports and selling prices, which would contribute to substantial revenue growth for this year, he said.

HAWA predicted that the major export markets for Vietnamese wood products this year would be Asian countries and South American countries. In particular, the export value of Vietnamese wood products to Japan rose by 27 per cent since the end of 2011 and would continue the increase this year due to high demand for wood in construction projects following last year's massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Thang said.

Meanwhile, American partners returned to local wood producers to order export products instead of China as before because of competitiveness in price, said Thanh.

Therefore, the total export value of wood products was expected to top US$4 billion this year, higher than last year's level of $3.9 bllion.

The sector was also aiming to better ensure supply of raw timber. Nguyen Ton Quyen, chairman of the Viet Nam Wood and Forestry Product Association, said that under the national development strategy for the forestry industry, by 2020, the sector would be able to meet domestic demand for wood as well as for export.

That meant until 2020, local producers had to continue to still import raw materials for export processing, often at high prices.

"So they must seek solutions to increase their competitive ability against wood product producers from other countries," Quyen said. — VNS

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