|Employees produce wooden products at the Kaiser Wood Company in the southern province of Binh Duong. Wood exports hit nearly US$2.1 billion in the first quarter of this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Vu Sinh
HA NOI (VNS) — Wood exports were the biggest earners in Viet Nam's farm export sector in the first quarter of this year, hitting nearly US$2.1 billion; a year-on-year increase of 6.2 per cent.
According to the General Department of Viet Nam Customs, the US continued to be the largest importer of Vietnamese wood and wooden products, with a value of $762 million. Japan and China followed with import values of $306 million and $289 million respectively.
According to Huynh Van Hanh, Vice Chairman of HCM City's Association for Fine Arts and Wood Processing, the situation was caused by a contraction of wood production in leading export countries such as Italy and Germany due to ripple effects from the economic downturn in Europe.
Vietnamese wood exporters were active in taking advantage by expanding their market share in Europe.
The ASEAN Community, which is scheduled to start at the end of the year, will offer more opportunities since wood is one of the top 12 priority industrial sectors.
Vietnam wood exports are forecasted to continue its strong record through to the end of the year. Local wood export businesses have reported large numbers of international orders to last for the whole year.
Currently, Viet Nam is the sixth largest wood exporter in the world, with export value growing an average 27.15 per cent a year from 2001 to 2010, and 15 per cent annually in the last five years to reach a net $6.23 billion in 2014.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade set target earnings of $7 billion from wood and wood product exports in 2015.
The HCM City Association for Fine Arts and Wood Processing optimistically said that Viet Nam's wood export value is capable of reaching $7.2 billion this year. — VNS