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Vietnam's wood products exports plunge in January-February due to order shortage

[Mar 7, 2023]

Vietnam's exports wood and wood products slumped 34.8 percent year-on-year to 1.6 billion U.S. dollars in January and February mainly due to a fall-off in demand, according to the Export and Import Department under Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Vietnam exported wood and wood products worth 800 million U.S. dollars in February, down 0.7 percent from January and down 10 percent from a year earlier. Exports of wood products, including furniture, contributed the most to the decline, posting a revenue of 490 million U.S. dollars, down 29.7 percent from last year.

Global demand for furniture has dwindled significantly from the heights of the COVID-19 pandemic when people spent their time during lockdowns on home improvements, industry experts said.

Global inflation has dampened demand in the wood industry in the year-end period last year and early this year, local online newspaper VnEconomy cited the chairman of the Vietnam Timber and Forest Products Association as saying.

Last year, Vietnam earned over 16 billion U.S. dollars from exporting wood and wood products, 3.8 percent above the target, according to the association, despite high inflation, rising material costs and log-jammed supply chains.

The country expects to earn a record high of 18 billion U.S. dollars from exporting wood and wood products this year, with a focus on wood pellets and woodchips, which is forecast to reach 1 billion U.S. dollars, as the spike in the cost of fuel has raised interest in using these products as alternatives to heating.