SEATTLE, WA , April 30, 2014 (RISI) -
Vietnam became the world's largest exporter of hardwood chips in 2011. Because most of the pulpwood used to produce these export woodchips was grown by hundreds of thousands of farmers in very small plots, there was uncertainty in the market as to how sustainable this resource would prove to be. However, hardwood chip exports jumped by 29% in 2013, and Vietnam accounted for 38% of the total hardwood chip supply in the Asian markets. In 2014, it appears that there is no shortage of woodchip supply in Vietnam: for the first quarter of the year, imports of hardwood chips from Vietnam increased 28% in the Asian markets, with major increases in both the Chinese and Japanese markets. "When I visited woodchip exporters in central Vietnam in March, they all had very high levels of chip inventory," reported Bob Flynn, co-author of RISI's International Pulpwood Trade Review, an annual publication which analyzes the international woodchip trade. "And projects at several ports were in progress to permit larger vessels to be loaded." The Vietnamese government proposed a 5% export duty on woodchip exports in 2012, to "encourage" more domestic processing, but to date that tax has not been implemented and the government has not indicated when, or if, this tax will be enforced.
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