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June 22, 2020

Growth in Vietnamese wood products exports slows in April

Growth in Vietnamese wood products exports slows in April

Statistics from Vietnam Customs shows that exports of wood and wood products (W&WP) during April 2020 were worth US$697 million, down by a third compared to March but 19% higher than in April 2019.

April Vietnamese wood product (WP) exports, in particular, fell sharply, dropping around 35% to US$434 million against previous month and by 25% compared to April 2019. Despite the declines in April W&WP exports remain in the top 6 groups of Vietnamese export commodities.

In the first four months of this year, WP exports alone amounted to US$2.272 billion, up by 2% compared to the same period in 2019 and accounted for 69% of total W&WP exports, down slightly year on year.

In previous years exports to the US, the top buyer of Vietnam’s W&WP accounted for around 50% of total exports but in the four months to April, this dropped by 39%.

With the pandemic yet prevailing in US and several EU countries and the global economy facing a severe crisis, exports of W&WP and NWFP will fail to reach the target of over US$12 billion set for 2020 (in 2019, exports of W&WP plus NTFP was reported at US$11.18 billion).

Export markets: W&WP exports to EU and China still rising so far

Due to the impact of the pandemic on global trade, April 2020 Vietnamese W&WP exports to the main markets dropped compared to previous months. However, in the first four months of 2020, W&WP exports to the EU and China were still rising, by 13% in the case of the EU and by 23% in the case of China. However, this growth is unlikely to be sustainable.

Imports fell in April 2020, after increase in March

April timber imports W&WP imports into Vietnam in April 2020 fell after the increase in March 2020. The accumulated W&WP imports into Vietnam over the first four months of 2020 amounted to US$731 million, down by 5.8% against the same period of the last year. Import sources In April 2020, the value of W&WP imports from several markets, including Thailand, Laos and Malaysia, increased by 26.59%, 43.04% and 59.21% respectively compared to March 2020.

W&WP imports from the US and China dropped slightly in April while imports from Brazil, France, New Zealand, Russia and Germany fell sharply.

China is still the largest W&WP supplier to Vietnam

In the first four months of 2020, China was the largest W&WP supplier to Vietnam at US$208 million, up by 41% over the same period of the last year and accounted for 28% of total W&WP imported into Vietnam. The second largest supplier was the US but here, the value of imports dropped almost 10%. In contrast, W&WP imports into Vietnam from Thailand, Chile and Brazil fell by 11%, 24% and 14% respectively over the same period of 2019.

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