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National forest products statistics, Viet Nam



Prior to 1995, the former Ministry of Forestry collated data on production and trade of forest product in Viet Nam. A large amount of timber and fuelwood was harvested from natural forests whilst plantations were small in area and had not yet reached harvesting age. However, since 1998, natural forests have been closed and the permitted annual cut has been set at 300 000 m3.

Production of wood-based products in Viet Nam for 1990 and 1995-2000 are shown in Table 1. In comparison to pre 1990 levels, annual roundwood production decreased between 1996 and 2000. At present, 1.5 million m3 of roundwood are harvested annually from plantation forests and scattered trees. Production is rising rapidly as more plantations reach maturity, despite considerable reductions in fuelwood consumption as a result of increasing use of alternative fuels.

Table 1. Production of wood-based products in Viet Nam


Quantity produced








Roundwood (1000 m3)

33 467.8

33 621.1

29 105.2

30 836.4

28 741.6

28 754.4

29 024.7


(1000 m3)

30 445.6

29 828.0

28 272.2

27 356.4

25 490.8

25 229.6

24 842.7

Industrial roundwood (1000 m3)

3 022.2

3 793.1

3 833

3 480

3 250.8

3 524.8

4 182.0

Sawlogs and veneer logs (1000 m3)

2 822.2

2 793

2 833

2 480

2 216.8

2 122.5

2 570.6

Sawnwood (1000 m3)


1 606

1 398

1 184

2 705

2 937

2 950

Wood panels (1000 m3)




Pulp for paper (MT)





58 7

61 513

72 863

Paper and paperboard (MT)








Prior to 1999, volume figures for timber harvested from plantations were collated from cutting permits by MARD. Data included timber harvested by State Forest Enterprises and organisations managing large areas of forest, but did not account for harvests from small scale plantations and trees outside forests. The latter were excluded because many farmers felled trees without cutting permits due to the laborious application procedures. Furthermore, even when permits were obtained, data was not effectively collected and volumes unaccounted for were significant, particularly in remote areas. In 1998, the volume of timber harvested with permits was 320 000 m3 The figure for plantations and trees outside forests, collated from several organisations, exceeded 980 000 m3 in 1998 and 1.4 million m3 in 2000. The organisations from which data was taken included the Provincial Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development, Local Forest Protection Departments and Provincial Statistical Offices. Institutions within the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development are shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Institutions within the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Since 1998, plantation wood markets, particularly in remote areas, have faced many difficulties due to market unavailability, low prices and policy hurdles. As the majority of households dependent on revenue from plantations were already poor, the economic impacts of the situation were accentuated. To improve matters, the Government abolished cutting permits for plantation forests in 1999, and households have since only needed to inform local forestry agencies of planned harvests. This simplification encouraged greater farmer involvement in plantation activities, made it easier for provincial forestry agencies to approach forest owners and increased farmers’ willingness to declare harvests. It has also been suggested that simplification of cutting permit procedures has aided macro regulation and planning by helping prevent data ‘leaks’. However, the simplifications have also created new difficulties in assessing national timber production from remote areas and small-scale plantations. Overall, the simplification of plantation forest harvest procedures did not have a great effect on figures for volumes harvested from plantation forests.

Forest products data sources and collection methodologies

In Viet Nam, forest products data are collected by a range of organisations using different methodologies. A full list of organisations involved in collection, analysis and dissemination of forest products statistics is given in Appendix 1; for this report data were obtained from the sources detailed in the following sections.

Provincial Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development

The Provincial Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development and the General Department of Statistics collect data on timber volumes from plantations and trees outside of forests, Woodfuel (including wood for charcoal), sawlogs and veneer logs, sawnwood, wood chips, particles, wood-based panels, wood pulp and paper and paper board. Data on roundwood, fuelwood and sawnwood are collected from provinces, districts and communes using two main methods: (i) information extracted from cutting permits; and (ii) countrywide inventories of households to determine roundwood quantities harvested by local communities. The latter are conducted every two and a half years in all 61 provinces of the country. Each province is stratified into areas with similar environmental and socio-economic conditions and in each a representative district is selected. Communes representing different ecological, economic and social conditions are then and surveys of households are carried out.

The General Department of Customs of Viet Nam

The General Department of Customs of Viet Nam collect data on forest products exports and imports. Customs data collection is governed by the 1990 Ordinance on Customs and since 1995, the statistical system has improved greatly. All information on customs declaration forms, from more than 100 checkpoints, is processed by computer and transmitted each day to the information and statistical centre of the General Department of Customs. In 1988 the Customs Department began to publish the ‘Viet Nam Customs Yearbook on Foreign Merchandise Trade’. The Harmonised System (HS) of the World Customs Organisation is presently adhered to, and quantity and value data on forestry exports and imports are included under code HS 96, with 4 digits.

Viet Nam Paper Making Association

Annual reports of the Viet Nam Paper Making Association include information on plantation timber consumption, wood pulp, wood chips, a number of types of paper and also quantities of wood chips exported to Japan, Taiwan and Korea (Vinachip Co. Ltd.). The members organisations that provide data include the Viet Nam Paper Corporation, the Viet Nam Paper Making Association, the Korean Panel Association, the Korean Customs and Japan Finance Ministry. Data are neither regularly updated nor highly reliable.

District and Provincial Forest Protection Units

District and Provincial Forest Protection Units in the Forest Protection Department collect data on timber use of households living near forest from cutting permits. Figures are only a reference as they do not include all timber harvested by households in remote areas.

Other data sources

Data sources other than those listed above include:

There is no good source of data on wood charcoal or wood based panels although some data can be found in certain documents. These products have not been produced in large quantities in Viet Nam; at present, an MDF factory with annual capacity of 50 000 tonnes and a particle board factory of 16 000 tonnes per year are under construction.

Forest products statistical publications in Viet Nam

Publications including forest products statistics in Viet Nam include:

Main weaknesses and constraints in the current statistical system

In general, data on forest products from existing document in Viet Nam are not adequately updated or synthesised and are spread across a number of organisations that collect raw data from different sources and with different levels of precision. A number of products are not fully inventoried and information is often lacking on either the quantity or value of forest products traded. In addition, various names of forest products have not been defined according to international standards.

Trade figures are also of low precision and the data and data collection approaches are often incoherent. For instance, the diverse definitions of various product types as well as the different approach to data collection lead to different statistical results for one product. The statistical structure from central to local level for collecting trade data is not well organised and the staff involved frequently lack adequate training.

Production of wood charcoal, wood chips and particles and wood residues has not been included in the forestry statistics of Viet Nam and is only found scattered in a number of reports.

Data on wood-based panels published in statistical documents in Viet Nam are incomplete. This is particularly the case with plywood as the plywood production units are backward, use semi-manual technology, are scattered and have unstable production levels.

Recommendations to improve forest products statistical systems

Recommendations to improve the current forest products statistical system include the following:


Appendix 1

Organisations involved in collection, analysis and dissemination of forest products data

General Department of Statistics of Viet Nam, No. 2 Hoang Van Thu Street, Hanoi,

Provincial Statistical Offices (in every province),

Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, (MARD) No.2 Ngoc Ha Street, Hanoi,

Provincial Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development,

Forest Development Department, MARD, 2. Ngoc Ha Street, Hanoi, Viet Nam,

Forest Protection Department, MARD, No. 2 Ngoc Ha Street, Hanoi, Viet Nam,

Provincial Forest Protection Departments,

Department of Planning and Projection (statistical Division), MARD, No. 2 Ngoc Ha Street, Hanoi,

Viet Nam Paper Making Association, 18C Pham Dinh Ho Street, Hanoi,

Paper Corporation of Viet Nam, 31 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hanoi, Viet Nam,

Forestry Corporation of Viet Nam, 127 Lo Duc Street, Hanoi, Viet Nam,

Timber Association of Viet Nam, 127 Lo Duc Street, Hanoi, Viet Nam,

District Statistical Divisions,

District Division of Agriculture and Rural Development,

Ministry of Trade (Ngo Quyen Street, Hanoi, Viet Nam),

General Department of Customs of Viet Nam, 162 Nguyen Van Cu, Gia Lam, Hanoi,

Provincial Departments of Customs,

Customs Clearance Checkpoints.


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