Africa – Vietnam’s important timber material supplying market

The Vietnam Timber and Forest Products Association (Vietfores) said that Africa is becoming an important source of wood material for Vietnam, with wood imports continuing to increase. Notably, the amount of logs imported annually reaches 800,000 m3, accounting for nearly 20% of the total imported wood.
Châu Phi đang trở thành nguồn cung gỗ nguyên liệu quan trọng cho Việt Nam (Nguồn: VPA)
Africa is becoming an important source of raw material wood for Vietnam (Source: VPA)
Vietnam imports mainly logs and sawn timber from Africa

Vietfores said that Africa is providing a wide range of wood materials to Vietnam, mainly roundwood and sawn timber with increasing volume.

In particular, the volume of imported wood in the first 10 months of 2016 compared with the same period reached over 518 thousand m3, accounting for 36% of the total volume of logs imported into Vietnam.

On average each year Vietnam imports logs from about 12 to 15 different countries in Africa. In particular, volume and turnover of logs imported from Cameroon account for more than 50%.

Việt Nam nhập khẩu gỗ tròn từ Châu Phi từ 2013 (m3) (nguồn: Vietfores)
Vietnam imports logs from Africa from 2013 (m3) (source: Vietfores)

According to Vietfores, out of 18 countries supplying sawlogs to Vietnam from Africa, only four countries have an import turnover of more than $ 5 million / country / year, including Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo and Congo. Congo.So with the volume of logs, the volume of sawn timber imported to Africa from Africa is only about 1/4 with more than 132 thousand m3. Although the volume of imports increased but still much lower than the logs imported from this market.

 Lượng gỗ xẻ nhập khẩu từ Châu Phi vào Việt Nam 2013-2016 (m3) (Nguồn: Vietfores)
Imports of sawn timber from Africa into Vietnam 2013-2016 (m3) (Source: Vietfores)

At present, wood materials imported from Africa mainly serve the domestic market, especially ironwood, peach, etc., others (red, red, incense) are processed into Semi-finished products for export to China.

Import of African wood material, which is safe for the wood industry of Vietnam?

In countries in Africa, five countries signed the VPA Voluntary Partnership Agreement within the framework of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Program with the EU. In these countries, Cameroon and Ghana are the two countries with the largest supply of timber to Vietnam. These countries are establishing a system to ensure the legality of raw material wood. In the future, when this system is put into operation, timber imported into Vietnam from these sources will meet the requirements of the FLEGT VPA on the legality of the raw material source.

On the other hand, Vietfores also said that importing raw materials from Africa could be subject to legal risks. Because, some countries like Liberia have the source of timber harvested to finance the activities of rebels against the government. In other countries, such as Congo and Mozambique, illegal logging is still occurring on a large scale and frequency. Accordingly, Vietnam’s imports of wood from these sources also face legal risks.

Mr. Ngo Ton Quyen, Vice President of Vietfores, said: “In order to avoid the negative impacts and reduce the risk of raw materials, enterprises need to proactively access information sources not only on policies, Changes in the resource management policy in the timber supply countries, including information directly related to the import species. In Africa and wood associations play a very important role in collecting information related to imported wood and providing it to importers, which directly contributes to reducing the risk to the business. This is part of maintaining and developing sustainable timber trade between Vietnam and other African countries in the future. “

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