Production and processing
Wood sourced from Vietnamese forests mostly originates from plantations, because of the logging and export bans that are in place. According to MARD (2019) the Vietnamese “mass” plantation forests (i.e. not including scattered trees) produced about 16 million m3 of logs in 2019, which is mainly used for processing by the domestic industry. Species most commonly used in forest plantations are Acacia (Acacia spp.) and Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp.) (VIFOREST, 2019).
The wood-processing industry, in 2019, in total used about 46 million m3 of timber in roundwood equivalent (RWE) volume, including about 10 million m3 for the domestic market and 36 million m3 for export markets (VIFOREST and FPA Binh Dinh, 2020).
Viet Nam, therefore, is a net importer of timber and mostly a “processing” country for the export sector. As a result, Viet Nam’s wood processing sector is highly dependent on imported materials from a large number of sources. In 2019, Vietnam imported timber and timber products for a value of about USD 2.55 billion (Vietnam Customs) from mainly China (26%), African countries (19%), the US (13%) and the EU (11%).
Viet Nam's wood processing industry is particularly known for production and export of high-end wood products, particularly furniture. Viet Nam is one of the world's largest exporting countries of timber and timber products, with exports valued at USD 10.3 billion in 2019, of which the exports of primary timber products were “only” valued at USD 3.4 billion.
Besides furniture the main export products of the Vietnamese wood product industries are wood chips and paper, with Viet Nam being one of the biggest wood chip exporting countries of the world. The main destination markets for the exports of wood chips are China (57%) and Japan (30%), totalling 12 million Bone Dry Tons (BDT) in 2019 (VIFOREST, FPA BD, HAWA, BIFA & Vietnam Customs, 2020).