Nguyen Chien Thang, chairman of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City (HAWA), says almost all major wood processors have signed export contracts to be fulfilled by the end of this June.
However, he says many domestic wood processors are still facing difficulties in ensuring capital and in overcoming surging production costs.
"One important thing now is that local producers should improve marketing activities and the design of their products," he said.
Vo Truong Thanh, chairman of the Binh Duong Furniture Association (Bifa), said recently, export orders of wood products had increased in volume and value after a long period of sluggish exports.
Exports were held back in part due to a shortage of supply, as many small-and medium-sized wood producers had reduced production or closed due to difficulties in capital and short supply of raw materials, Thanh said.
The time was right for wood export producers in Vietnam to increase exports and selling prices, which will contribute to substantial revenue growth for this year, he said.
HAWA predicts that the major export markets for Vietnamese wood products this year would be Asian and South American countries. In particular, the export value of Vietnamese wood products to Japan has risen by 27 percent since the end of 2011 and will continue to increase due to high demand for wood in construction projects following last year's massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Thang said.
Meanwhile, American partners have signed contracts with local wood producers who offer competitive prices against Chinese products, said Thanh.
Therefore, the total export value of wood products is expected to top US$4 billion this year, higher than last year's level of US$3.9 billion.
The sector is also aiming to better ensure supply of raw timber. Nguyen Ton Quyen, chairman of the Vietnam Wood and Forestry Product Association, says that under the national development strategy for the forestry industry, by 2020, the sector will be able to meet domestic demand for wood as well as for export.
That meant until 2020, local producers will continue to still import raw materials for export processing, often at high prices.
"So they must seek solutions to increase their competitive capacity against wood product producers from other countries," Quyen says.