During 2016, the Philippines shipped US$2.8 billion worth of lumber and wood products to its international customers. That dollar amount represents a 30.5% uptick from the $2.1 billion in global sales five years earlier in 2012.
Year over year, the value of total wood exports from the Philippines appreciated by 28% from the $2.2 billion in revenue garnered during 2012.
The two-digit Harmonized Tariff System code (HTS) prefix for wood is 44. Please note that high-level category includes wood charcoal in addition to raw lumber and items made from wood including caskets, tableware and kitchenware.
Read on to find out which country single-handedly bought almost 97% of Filipino exports of lumber and wood products during 2016.
Philippines Wood Exports by Buyer Country
By far, Japanese importers paid for the highest dollar worth of timber and related wood items exported from the Philippines in 2016. Together with the nine other countries below, the following top 10 buyers accounted for 99.6% of overall wood exports shipped from the Philippines.
- Japan: $2.8 billion (96.8% of Philippine wood exports)
- China: $26.8 million (0.9%)
- Singapore: $23 million (0.8%)
- United States: $17.3 million (0.6%)
- Afghanistan: $3.3 million (0.12%)
- Belgium: $2.5 million (0.09%)
- France: $2.5 million (0.09%)
- South Korea: $2.2 million (0.08%)
- United Kingdom: $1.8 million (0.06%)
- Taiwan: $1.2 million (0.04%)
Japanese wood imports from the Philippines expanded in value by two-thirds (up 28.4%) from 2012 to 2016.
Admittedly calculations involving smaller amounts, the value of Filipino timber exports to other trade partners grew at more accelerated levels since 2012: up 861.7% for Singapore, up 195.5% for the United Kingdom, up 82% for Belgium and up 29.2% for the United States.
Three countries cut back on wood bought from the Philippines since 2012 namely South Korea (down -44.3%), China (down -31.1%) and France (down -7.9%).
The Philippines imported $85.9 million worth of wood products in 2016, a metric far smaller than the $2.8 billion in exported wood from the Philippines. The $2.3 billion product surplus clearly shows the powerful overall trade advantage that the Philippines has for lumber and wood products.
Below are highest trade surpluses that the Philippines earned during 2016 by importing country.
- Japan: US$2.7 billion (net export surplus up 26.6% since 2012)
- Singapore: $18.2 million (reversing a -$6.9 million deficit)
- Afghanistan: $3.3 million (reversing a -$20,000 deficit)
- France: $2.2 million (down -12.6%)
- Belgium: $2.1 million (up 57.9%)
- United Kingdom: $1.5 million (up 418.6%)
- United States: $1.1 million (reversing a -$13 million deficit)
- South Korea: $842,000 (down -69%)
- Jordan: $480,000 (up 1,746%)
- Turkey: $420,000 (up 66.7%)
Japan provided the Philippines with its highest product surplus earnings in the international trade of lumber and related products. The above positive cashflows confirm the Philippines competitive advantage for the wood product category in its trade with the above countries.
Below are the top 10 product subcategories of wood exported from the Philippines during 2016:
- Wood carpentry, builders’ joinery: US$2.8 billion (96.9% of total wood exports)
- Sawn wood: $24.3 million (0.84%)
- Wood charcoal: $21.8 million (0.76%)
- Wood tableware, kitchenware: $14.9 million (0.52%)
- Miscellaneous wood items: $13 million (0.45%)
- Wood ornaments including statuettes: $9.6 million (0.33%)
- Railway/streetcar ties: $1.6 million (0.06%)
- Wood frames for paintings, pictures, mirrors: $792,000 (0.03%)
- Special shaped wood: $698,000 (0.024%)
- Packing cases, crates, boxes: $570,000 (0.02%)
The fastest-growing wood categories from 2012 to 2016 were miscellaneous wood items (up 461%), wood frames for paintings, pictures and mirrors (up 117%) and wood tableware or kitchenware (up 102.3%).
The largest exported wood category from the Philippines, wood carpentry and builders’ joinery, increased in value by 30.5% from 2012 to 2016.
According to global trading platform Alibaba, the following suppliers are examples of wood trading companies, manufacturers, distributors or wholesalers based in the Philippines:
- Accendo Corporation
- Cocoking Industrial Phils. Inc
- Margecita Lajera Trading
- Muz Trading
- Swanmade Enterprise
Alibaba, Philippines Wood Suppliers. Accessed on July 31, 2017
The World Factbook, Field Listing: Exports – Commodities, Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on July 31, 2017
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on July 31, 2017
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on July 31, 2017
Wikipedia, Lumber. Accessed on July 31, 2017
Wikipedia, Wood. Accessed on July 31, 2017