Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, who is the biggest winner in the trade war of wooden products?
China is rapidly losing its largest plywood and furniture customers and is challenged by rising labor and shortage of raw materials. As a result, many Chinese companies are moving to other countries to avoid imposing tariffs and additional fees. This process will accelerate China’s transformation from a global manufacturer to a more balanced producer and consumer. China will increasingly develop its own very large domestic market, so in the long run, the United States may help China in this regard.
In the United States, consumers are seeing rising prices for materials normally imported from China. For domestic plywood and furniture manufacturers, this will be seen as good news to boost local supply and may stimulate increased investment in these industries. What we need to know is that the United States has an adequate supply of raw materials, and only cost, especially labor cost, is a hindrance to investment in this area.
Ultimately, due to the insufficient supply of plywood and furniture, the United States will not be able to “clean up the mess” at home, so we will begin to see the United States purchasing from other countries. It seems that Southeast Asian countries, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, especially Vietnam, are good at taking advantage of this advantage.
As far as furniture and panel business is concerned, the biggest winner is of course Vietnam. This country has proven itself internationally capable of transforming itself into a very flexible and competitive producer of wood panels and furniture. In fact, just look at Vietnam’s achievements in these markets, Vietnam is expected to become the world’s second largest furniture producer in the next few years.
As far as Thailand is concerned, it has successfully utilized its rich rubber wood resources to become an undisputed leader in the production of medium fiberboard and Particleboard in Asia. Thailand’s furniture industry is hampered only by its dependence on the relative strength of foreign labor and local currency. Thailand’s economy pays more attention to tourism and serves it.
Indonesia should be the main candidate for the development of panel and furniture business and become a regional power. Indonesia has a large local labor force, a very competitive local currency, a strategic export location and a rich supply of raw materials. Unfortunately, investment in some infrastructure has been delayed due to past political problems and structural reforms. Indonesia still faces challenges in investing in modern manufacturing facilities.
China is the largest timber export destination in the United States. China’s log imports account for half of the U.S. export market, and sawn timber accounts for one third of the market. A kind of
In addition, the timber harvesting and timber processing industries in the United States have been short of labor force, and now the new energy industry is developing rapidly, absorbing most of the labor force. If China no longer imports timber, American processing plants will disband workers without orders. Even if orders are returned in the following year, it will be very difficult for the American timber processing industry to recruit workers again.
China’s woodwork exports have a greater impact. For wood products with higher added value, such as flooring and furniture, because the proportion of raw materials in the cost is small, if the tariff is controlled within 10%, under the effect of exchange rate, the impact of additional tariffs on each other is limited; if the tariff is increased by 25%, the production enterprises and American suppliers will have to bear the cost together, and the wood products will come out. Factory prices will rise.