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Wood products exports up 33% in seven months   2010-08-04 - VNS

Exports of wooden products surged by a third in the first seven months of this year to US$1.8 billion, the General Statistics Office reported.

The US was the largest importer, followed by the EU and Japan.

Last year, when exports to other markets dropped significantly due to the impact of the global economic downturn, exports to the US increased by 3.4 per cent.

The trend has continued this year, with exports to the US topping $619.6 million in the first half, again up by a third from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Exports to this market are forecast to rise by 18-22 per cent this year, by 5-8 per cent to the EU, and by 8-12 per cent to Japan.

Many countries had now returned to growth but the recovery was not stable, especially in the EU. As a result, consumers there were not spending yet and exports to the bloc were unlikely to expand strongly this year, analysts said.

Other challenges the sector could face are high lending interest rates, rising costs of raw materials and legal hurdles in the US and the EU to timber exploitation.

Vietnamese wooden products are now sold in 120 countries and territories.

There are more than 2,000 wood processing firms, employing 250,000 workers in the country, located mainly in HCM City and Binh Duong, Dong Nai, and Binh Dinh Provinces.

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