Vietnam’s wood, furniture exports plunge 34%

HANOI – Vietnam’s wood and wood product exports declined 34.8% to $1.6 billion in January and February compared with last year, according to the country’s Ministry of Industry and Trade.

For the month of February, Vietnam exported $800 million in wood and wood products, down 0.7% in January and 10% from the previous year. Wood products, including furniture, represented the sharpest decline at $490 million, down 29.7%.

Late last year, many Vietnamese furniture manufacturing factories decided to close for an extended period for Lunar New Year, with some opting to shut down operations for more than a month. These decisions were sparked by reduced orders, which fell to a 13-month low last October.

Vietnam replaced China as the top furniture exporter to the U.S. in 2020. By the end of 2021, China had reclaimed its top spot, although not by much. The two countries now are in close contention.

In March 2022, the Vietnamese government announced a goal to hit $20 billion annually in timber and wood products exports by 2025, a $9 billion increase at the time. A plan detailed steps on how the country will vastly expand and upgrade its wood processing industry by 2023. Some of those included heavy investments in technology, the building of an international furniture exhibition center and a reorganization of its production areas.

The country’s primary wood markets include the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Western Europe and China.

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