Thailand's wood exports surged first four months of 2023

2023-10-24

       (Bangkok, 24th October 2023) – The value of Thailand’s wood exports achieved a milestone in 2022, totaling 104 billion Thai baht. In the first four months of 2023 alone, export value has already surged to 36.4 billion Thai baht, reflecting a remarkable 5.31% increase compared to the same period last year.

       In a recent webinar organized by Thailand International Woodworking & Furniture Exhibition 2024 (TIWF 2024), which was chaired by the Thai Timber Association and Thai Furniture Association respectively, it revealed that Thailand’s number one wood export is rubber wood, with China as one of its key markets. Thailand has over 3.5 million hectares of rubber woodland located largely in the southern part of the country.

       Thailand’s wood product exports are divided into 5 segments, namely processed wood, fiberboard, plywood, furniture and other wood products. Processed wood, fiberboard, and plywood accounts for 73% of total exports, while furniture and other wood products accounts for the remaining 27%.

       During the webinar, key Thai wood industry players, Ta Chou Industry Co., Ltd and Union Thai Plus Co., Ltd, led discussions on opportunities of Thailand’s wood industry. There is general consensus that Thailand’s wood industry has good growth potentials, due to abundance of raw materials. The industry also highlighted that there are many value added products and materials that Thailand can produce and export using innovations and technology. These include termite- proof wood, fire-resistance wood, application of nano-technology on wooden furniture, scratch resistance coatings, to name a few.

       The well attended webinar also discussed the industry’s pain points. These include a lack of competiveness in design, quality and cost due to slow adoption of technology, machinery and automation. It resulted in lack of production standardization, poor productivity, inefficient upstream and downstream processes, high wastage and increased operating costs. The industry is hence calling for the Thai government to support training initiatives to upskill and upgrade productions through the introduction of new technology solutions and machinery automation.

       According to Thailand’s 2021 woodworking machinery import statistics, Thailand is the world’s 34th largest importer of woodworking machines, valued at US$70.9 million. Imports are expected to rise as Thailand continues to rely on imports of machinery and technology in order to produce and export better quality wood products.

       It is against the above mentioned backdrop, that an event like Thailand International Woodworking & Furniture Exhibition 2024 (TIWF 2024) is staged to provide Thailand and the surrounding South East Asian woodworking industry, with a dedicated face-to-face international forum to meet, discuss, exchange views, gain new knowledge, update on trends, forge new business partnerships and networks, while at the same time address sustainability issues impacting the environment.

       Hosted by Thailand’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, TIWF 2024 will be held in Bangkok, Thailand from 18th to 20th September 2024, to present the latest machinery, technology, materials and supplies, fittings, hardware and components, and services, serving the wood industry of Thailand and the surrounding South East Asian region.

       TIWF 2024 will take up over 5,000 sq. meters of exhibition space at the IMPACT Exhibition and Convention Centre, with over 150 exhibiting companies, and 4,000 local and international attendees coming from the entire spectrum of the woodworking and furniture supply chain sectors.

       One unique highlight of TIWF 2024 is its Hosted Buyers and Business Matching Program designed to identify and invite key buyers from South East Asia to attend. This program presents exhibiting companies with the opportunity to meet directly with key decision makers seeking solutions and answers to improve their production and manufacturing efficiencies.

       The importance of TIWF 2024 as a key industry platform for the wood industry of Thailand and South East Asia is underscored by the strong supports that it has received, and is still receiving from many local and international wood industry organisations.

       Locally, TIWF 2024 is hosted by Thailand’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment as its Host Organization. The event’s strategic partners include the Thai Forestry Industry Organisation and the Kasetsart University’s Forestry Faculty. In an initiative to uplift the standards of Thailand’s wood industry, especially those located in the provinces, TIWF 2024 is working with its strategic partners to conduct a series of educational and best practice workshops in these provinces, prior to the actual TIWF event.

       TIWF 2024 is also supported by related wood industry associations such as the Thai Furniture Association, Thai Timber Association, the Federation of Thai Industries, and Thai Hevea Wood Association, to name a few.

       On the international support front, organisations such as Americans Softwoods, American Hardwood Export Council, French Timber, Malaysia Timber Council, Singapore Timber Association, Sabah Timber Industries Association, Wood Technologist Association (India), and Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry have all confirmed their supports, and looking to participate in this event.

       TIWF 2024 has also received plans for a “Made in Germany” Pavilion supported by Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. The German Exhibitor Pavilion is subjected to official confirmation, including those of other European Exhibitor Pavilion groups that the organisers will announce soon.

       The decision to stage TIWF 2024 is a result of a year-long engagement the organisers have had with many industry stakeholders. The consensus pointed to a need for an event like TIWF to be staged in Thailand, as a key face-to-face regional industry platform to discuss challenges and opportunities of the wood industry of Thailand and South East Asian markets, while at the same time helps to create and enhance business opportunities in these markets.

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