Vietnam has become the world's largest woodchip exporter with 5.4 million tons exported in 2011, up 5 million tons compared to the humble start in 2001, according to Vietnam Pulp and Paper Association (VPPA).
According to experts in the industry, the expansion of Chinese pulp capacity is the main cause for the increasing number of hardwood plantations and processing facilities for woodchips in Vietnam.
However, woodchip export is not the main target of Vietnam since it is a form of exporting raw materials, having a lower export added values. The better options are exporting ingredients to produce pulp and paper.
$3.7 billion spent on animal feed imports
Le Ba Lich, chairman of Vietnam Animal Feed Association, said the country imported 8.9 million tons of animal feed with a value of approximately $ 3.7 billion in 2011.
The imported volume accounted for over 62 percent of total volumes of raw materials used to produce 14.3 million tons of animal feed for local market in the past year.
In addition to the imports of 4.8 million tons of protein-rich raw materials, Vietnam also had to import 3.8 million tons of energy-rich materials that could be produced locally including 870,000 tons of corn, 570,000 tons of bran, and 2.3 million tons of wheat.
Lich said the industry had to import too much raw materials since local land planning have yet zoned off land areas for the farming of such materials.