Wood exports gained the highest value among Vietnam’s farm exports in the first four months of this year, hitting nearly 2.1 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 6.2 percent.

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, the US is still the largest importer for Vietnamese wood and wooden products, with the value of 762 million USD. It was followed by Japan and China with import values of 306 million USD and 289 million USD, respectively.

According to Huynh Van Hanh, Vice Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City’s Association for Fine Arts and Wood Processing, the situation is due to a reduction of wood production in the main exporting countries such as Italy and Germany because of the ripple effects of the economic downturn in Europe.

Additionally, Vietnamese wood exporters were also active in taking advantage of European markets to expand their market share there.

The formation of the ASEAN Community, which is scheduled to take place by the end of the year, will also offer excellent opportunities, as wood will be one of the 12 prioritised industrial sectors. Vietnam will have a real opportunity to raise its wood export value.

Vietnam’s wood exports to foreign markets are forecast to be going smoothly in the final months of this year as local wood businesses have been contracted by a large number of international customers to provide goods for the whole year.

Currently, Vietnam is the sixth largest wood exporter in the world, with export value growing 27.15 percent a year on average from 2001 to 2010, and 15 percent on average in the last five years to reach 6.23 billion USD in 2014.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has set a target of earning 7 billion from exporting wood and wood products in 2015, up 800 million against 2014.

The HCM City Association for Fine Arts and Wood Processing said that Vietnam’s wood export value is quite capable of reaching 7.2 billion USD this year.-VNA