Slower growth in Vietnam’s wood and wood product exports in April 2020

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, reported ITTO.

April 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 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.