Earnings from wood exports are estimated to exceed 3.77 USD billion for the first nine months of this year, up 12 percent on 2012 figures, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Wood produce saw strong growth in shipments to the US, the Republic of Korea, Japan and China; driven by demand increases in most countries; including by 7.8 percent in the US, 17.1 percent in China, 20.3 percent in Japan, and 49 percent in the Republic of Korea.

The US was still the top importer of wood from Vietnam, reaching 1.38 billion USD and accounting for around 36.7 percent of the sector's exports.

Wood exports are expected to hit 5.5 billion USD this year, reflecting a growth rate between 10-15 percent, while Vietnam is now the second largest wood exporter in Asia, according to the ministry.

General Secretary of Vietforest Nguyen Ton Quyen attributed the increase to the global economic recovery and importers shifting orders from China to Vietnam due to lower wages and the need hedge risk against price volatilities.

He told Vietnam Economic Times that orders had increased by 20-30 percent this year.

Since early August, wood exporters have been showered with orders from foreign importers, with many exporters even negotiating orders for 2014. Many are believed to be running at full capacity to make deliveries on time, with many taking on extra staff to meet demand.

According to the Customs General Department, wood export turnover from FDI businesses accounted for 64 percent of the industry's total export turnover, while growth in the sector's FDI had been aided by strong financial support, access to local partners and distribution networks in foreign countries enabling fast networking between buyers and sellers.

However, foreign invested companies have been far more successful in reaping the gains of the surge in demand for exported wood products. Statistics showed FDI businesses were able to rent workshops and warehouses of local wood processors to expedite orders to the US and China.

Meanwhile, local processors had been hampered by a shortage of finance, trained human resources and raw materials. While Vietnamese wood is still well regarded in foreign markets and contributes significantly to export turnover, high-end manufacturing accounted for a small part of Vietnamese produce.

Additionally, the country's 4.6 billion USD in wood exports still pales in comparison to nearly 11 billion USD China raked in from wood exports.

According to the Vietnam Administration of Forestry, the domestic wood processing sector saw consistent annual growth of 42 percent between 2005 and 2010. This astonishing growth has continued, holding at 20-23 percent during the last three years.

Meanwhile, the scope of exports has increased dramatically, with a global penetration of more than 100 countries and territories.-VNA