|A worker of Woodsland Tuyên Quang JSC checks wood products before export to the EU. The impressive growth of wood exports was due to increasing demand for furniture during the COVID-19 pandemic. — VNA/VNS Photo Bùi Văn Lanh|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam exported US$9.58 billion worth of wood and wood products in the first seven months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 55 per cent, according to the General Department of Customs.
Of the figure, wood products raked in $7.44 billion, posting a 64-per cent rise compared with the same period last year.
Local experts contributed the impressive growth to increasing demand for furniture during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Điền Quang Hiệp chairman of Bình Dương Furniture Association (BIFA), shipments to the main export markets of the Bình Dương wood processing industry rose considerably.
The US market accounted for more than 65 per cent of Bình Dương's total export turnover, with an increase of 81 per cent over the same period last year, while Hong Kong (China) made up 8.5 per cent, with an increase of more than 47 per cent, and Taiwan (China) picked up 43 per cent.
A similar situation is also reported in the central province of Bình Định.
Ngô Văn Tống, director of Bình Định Department of Industry and Trade, said local wood products had been exported to countries in Europe, Oceania, America, Asia, and Africa. The province’s furniture exporters had 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 work and lifestyles, with consumers purchasing more furniture to work from home. Thus, Hiệp said, the province's export turnover of living room and dining room furniture was forecast to rise rapidly.
To be able to meet the orders of wood products, wood processing enterprises in Bình Dương had quickly adapted and changed their production methods accordingly, he said, adding that some businesses were renting more land to open factories.
Bùi Chính Nghĩa, deputy general director of the Việt Nam Administration of Forestry (VNFOREST) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said along with the US, Japan, and Hong Kong (China) markets, Việt Nam’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 prevention measures are gradually eased.
Although Việt Nam's wood processing and export industry has gained momentum given the whole country is coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, challenges still lie ahead.
According to Nguyễn Liêm, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lâm Việt Company in Bình Dương Province, the high growth in export value of the wood industry in the past two years contains potential risks because the US 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 Việt Nam'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 costs up by twice, three times and even 10 times in the past two to three years. — VNS