Vietnam’s furniture sector has stood firm amid COVID-19 and improved its position in the global market and especially in the US.
Vietnamese furniture has been favored by US distributors. (Photo: VNA)
Vietnam has overtaken China as the largest exporter of wood furniture to the US, according to an article published May 3 on the US-based Furniture Today website.
"In one of the most dramatic shifts in the recent history of furniture imports, Vietnam has overtaken China as the largest exporter of finished goods to the U.S. market. According to Furniture Today research, Vietnam shipped just over $7.4 billion in furniture to the U.S. in the calendar year 2020, up 31% from the $5.7 billion it shipped in 2019. By comparison, China shipped $7.33 billion to the U.S in the same 12-month period. That number was down 25% from the $9.7 billion China shipped in 2019," the paper said.
Inside a furniture processing workshop of WOODSLAND Tuyen Quang company (Photo: VNA)
In a recent online conference with Vietnamese businesses, US distributors said that since the US Government slapped tariffs on Chinese furniture they have sought new suppliers and Vietnam is the leading choice. Most furniture for bedrooms, kitchens, and offices now comes from Vietnam, they added.
While the gap is relatively small, Vietnam’s position on the world stage shows how it has grown in importance over the years. This, of course, started slowly with Vietnam emerging as a force in wood bedroom in response to Chinese bedroom manufacturers being hit with anti-dumping duties starting in June 2004. Two consecutive years of double-digit increases and decreases for each country has finally pushed Vietnam ahead of China, according to Furniture Today.
According to Tran Lam Son, marketing director, and quality manager at the Thien Minh Production Trading Export Import Company Limited, in previous years, international buyers rushed to China in March and April to study their wooden products and place orders. Vietnam, meanwhile, was their second choice. This year, Vietnamese furniture is more preferable, he said, adding that the country has substantial opportunities in the US, where the housing market is on the rise.
In one of the most dramatic shifts in the recent history of furniture imports, Vietnam has overtaken China as the largest exporter of finished goods to the U.S. market. (Photo: Furniture Today)
Chairman of the Dong Nai Association of Wood and Handicrafts Le Xuan Quan said Vietnamese associations need to take drastic action to raise awareness among local businesses about the significance of following international rules and standards. The State, meanwhile, should outline mechanisms to control input materials, shadow investments, and identify tax evasion activities, he said, saying that these are crucial for Vietnam’s wood sector to sharpen its focus on market development and affirm its existing position.
Becoming a leading furniture supplier to the US is a major opportunity for Vietnam to promote the production of wooden items, but manufacturers must meet requirements regarding sustainable development and guarantee their timber is of legal origin, experts have said. Experts also noted that Vietnamese firms need to prevent origin fraud since the US is a large and strict market in terms of trade fraud and tax evasion, according to VNA.
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