Vietnam’s exports of wood and wood products hit $1.78 billion in the first quarter of 2017, a year-on-year increase of 17.1 percent. China leads in exports overall, and China and Canada dominate kitchen cabinet exports to the U.S.

Vietnam's rise is especially evident in the U.S. and Japan, the country's largest wood importers. In the first three months of 2017, U.S. exports from Vietnam reached $596 million - 17.6 percent higher than the same time a year ago. Exports to Japan grew nearly 7 percent, reaching $256 million, Vietnam Customs reported.

Currently, China is the world’s largest supplier of wood products - accounting for around 37 percent of the world’s total supply. However, China recently slashed its overall timber harvesting quotas by 9 percent, providing opportunities for Vietnam to increase exports, says Vietnam's deputy chairman of the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City Huynh Van Hanh. Recently signed free trade agreements are also helping, he said.

Before 2017, Hanh said Vietnam's goal was to reach $7.5 billion in timber exports for the year. He says now the number could reach $8 billion. Hanh's goal is to reach $10 billion in timber export by 2020. 

When talking specifically about kitchen cabinet imports to the U.S., China lead 2016 with a 60 percent market share of all U.S. imports in the category. Chinese-made ready-to-assemble cabinet imports grew over 15 percent in 2016.

After China is Canada - also up over 15 percent from 2015 - whose cabinet imports make up around 17.5 percent of the U.S. market. Following Canada is Italy, at 7.6 percent, and Vietnam, at 3.4 percent. Countries with the biggest declines of kitchen cabinet imports from 2015 include India (down 37 percent), Hong Kong (down 30 percent), Mexico (down 11 percent), Poland (down 55 percent), and France (down 30 percent).

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