We supply high-quality paper wood chips and biomass products.
+84 937 683 136

Vietnam has become the second-largest exporter of tablets in the world

According to statistics from the General Department of Customs, Vietnam’s pellet exports in 2020 will reach about 3.2 million tons, the second largest in the world. Nearly 100% of tablets from Vietnam are exported to Japan and Korea.

Tablets are produced from agricultural, forestry, and fishery waste materials, a very diverse biomass source. Specifically, the current raw materials for the production of pellets are mainly from by-products of the wood processing industry (chips, sawdust, tree bark chips, wood scraps…); crop residues (rice husk after milling, bagasse, corn stalks, sugarcane, hay stalks, coffee bean husks…).

Many countries, including Japan and Korea, are using pellets as input materials for thermal power plants.


In collaboration with Forest trends, the Vietnam Wood and Forest Products Association has just published a research report on the production and export of pellets in Vietnam. This study was conducted from March 2021 to June 2021.

Dr To Xuan Phuc, an expert of Forest Trends, said that in Vietnam in 2013-2020, the amount of exported pellets increased by more than 18.2 times, from 175.5 tons in 2013 to 3.2 million tons in 2020. The export value of shots increased 15.3 times, from nearly 23 million USD in 2013 to 351 million USD in 2020. The amount of pellets produced in Vietnam is only a minimal amount used for drying wood; the rest is exported.

Quantity and value of exported pellets of Vietnam in the period of 2013-2020

The study shows that the price of export pellets decreases gradually over the years, in contrast to the increasing trend in export volume and turnover. The continuous decline in export pellet prices is that more and more businesses are involved in producing pellets from various sources of raw materials and by-products of the agricultural, forestry and fishery industry.

In 2020, the whole country has 74 enterprises participating in exporting tablets. Among them, the large-scale export enterprises exporting over 50,000 tons/enterprise) are 17 enterprises); the number of medium-sized enterprises (export volume from 20,000 to 49,000 tons/enterprise) is 10 enterprises; the rest are small-scale enterprises (under 20,000 tons/enterprise).

The source of input wood to produce pellets is mainly used from wood by-products such as sawdust, shavings, top branches of planted forest wood (acacia, eucalyptus, rubber), scattered trees… Source of raw materials This is put into the pressing process under high pressure to create the product.

Small-scale local production facilities purchase any locally available source of wood by-products to produce pellets. These purchasing activities are usually done through a system of agents—some large enterprises source materials from plantations, including plantations with sustainable forest management certificates (FSCs).

Research on the supply and demand of tablets globally, Forest trends and the Vietnam Timber and Forest Products Association have forecast that the need for pellets in the world will continuously increase rapidly. Forecasting demand growth rate of about 250% in the decade 2021-2030, from 14 million tons in 2017 to 36 million tons in 2030. Not only Japan and Korea, but many European countries have also used it. Tablets are input fuel for thermal power plants.


According to Dr To Xuan Phuc, the tablet production and export industry has been established and developed in Vietnam for less than ten years. Still, this industry promises to bring in billions of dollars soon. The demand for tablets worldwide is continuously increasing, which is the driving force for expanding Vietnam’s tablet production and export activities.

However, Dr To Xuan Phuc said that Vietnam’s production and export of tablets currently has some hidden problems that need attention.

Firstly, the source of input materials is not controlled, which leads to inconsistent product quality, even poor quality products. This problem will push down the export price of tablets. Uncontrolled input materials also can affect forest resources, with inputs that can be collected from trees and small branches from the forest.

Second, although it has become one of the essential export products, the production and export of tablets have not received the attention of the regulatory authorities.

Third, there is currently no mechanism to connect enterprises and processing facilities in the industry, no familiar voice in production and business activities, leading to unfair competition among enterprises.

Fourth, competition for input materials occurs not only with enterprises producing pellets but also between enterprises producing this product and enterprises producing other products such as wood chips and pellets Plywood. Many signals show that in the future, competition for input materials will become more fierce.

Fifth, currently, many enterprises producing and exporting tablets, especially small-scale enterprises, do not understand information about the export market, so they cannot grasp the tastes of buying and using tablets, nor as a raw material source.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has a lot of agricultural by-products that are very good to use in the production of pellets, such as rice husks from milling plants, rice straw and dried crop stalks. But most of this material is being burned and wasted. The reason is that there has not been a system to collect rice husks, rice straw, and dried plant stalks to transfer to tablet factories.

From the above analysis, experts of Forest trends recommend that the State and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development need to recognize and pay attention to research in tablet production and export, thereby having a strategy to bring the industry into the world. This sector will soon become a billion-dollar export economy, thereby adding value to agricultural, forestry, and fishery production.

Source: Vietnam Economic Review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.