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Vietnam Wood Pellet Production and Export: Environmental and Social Aspects

By To Xuan Phuc, Cao Thi Cam
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In 2013, Vietnam exported 170,000 tons of wood pellets, valuing US$23 million, primarily to South Korea and Japan. Only five years later, Vietnam exported 3.2 million tons, valued at US$352 million. Today, Vietnam is the second largest wood pellets producer globally (after the United States). While Vietnam’s future wood pellets export prospects look promising, legality and sustainability issues are looming large. Solving these issues requires transparency in production supply chains, concerted efforts from Vietnamese producers and the government to enhance product quality and exclude legality and sustainability risks, and better coordination between Vietnam as producer and Japan and Korea as consumers.