Africa still main supplier of timber to Vietnam

By | 2021-05-18T07:45:33+00:00 May 18th, 2021|

First published in the Tropical Timber Market Report.

Despite a reduction of supply due to Covid-19, African countries are still the main suppliers of tropical timber to Vietnam with about 20 countries selling about 1.3 cu.m of tropical timber to Vietnam annually.

There are some 20 African countries selling logs to Vietnam and contributing 33% of the total volume of logs imported into Vietnam. Photo by Wiki Commons

There are some 20 African countries selling logs to Vietnam and contributing 33% of the total volume of logs imported into Vietnam. Photo by Wiki Commons

The volume of tropical timber imported from Africa into Vietnam accounts for about a quarter of the total log and sawnwood that Vietnam has been importing in recent years.

There are some 20 African countries selling logs to Vietnam and contributing 33% of the total volume of logs imported into Vietnam. The top five suppliers are Cameroon, Ghana, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Nigeria and the Republic of the Congo.

These five countries account for 86% of the total volume of tropical logs Vietnam imports from Africa in 2020. On average, Vietnam annually imports over 400,000 cu.m of logs from Cameroon. This is the largest tropical log supplier contributing nearly 60% of the total log Vietnam imports from Africa and over 21% of the log imported into Vietnam from all sources. The major woody species are tali/iron-wood (67%), sapele (12%) and mahogany (6%).

Ghana is the second largest supplier of African logs to Vietnam with an annual supply of over 50,000 cu.m, corresponding to over 7% of the total import from Africa. In 2020 imports declined to 31,570 cu.m. Mahogany tops the imports (69%) followed by tali/iron-wood (34%) and padouk (5.5%).

Nigeria is also amongst the major suppliers of tropical logs for the Vietnamese market with shipments of 71,000 cu.m in 2020 accounting for between 6-12% of the total log imports from Africa. In 2018, Nigeria exported to Vietnam 94,210 cu.m of log, while in 2020 the export volume dropped to 71,910 cu.m. Species imported from Nigeria include mahogany (50%), padouk (46%) and tali (2.5%).

In 2015, the DRC shipped 5,150 cu.m of logs to Vietnam equal to 1% of logs imported from Africa. However, in 2020, DRC exported 64,550 cu.m, accounting for 10% of logs Vietnam imported from Africa. The main species imported are tali/iron-wood (35%), sapele (20%) and padouk (10%).

On average, Congo annually supplies over 20,000 cu.m of log to Vietnam, accounting for 2-4% of the total log volumes Vietnam imports from Africa. In 2020, the import from Congo decreased to 18,140 cu.m. The main imported species are tali, padouk, rose-wood and mahogany.

First published in the Tropical Timber Market Report