DESPITE uncertain global economic conditions, exports of Indonesian wood products continued to grow in 2022.

Data from Indonesia’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) analysed by the Association of Indonesia Forest Concession Holders (APHI) show Indonesia’s exports of wood products in 2022 reached US$14.51bn.

This was a significant increase in export values compared to 2021, which were recorded at US$13.56bn. The export value for wood products in 2022 was a record, surpassing the previous record set in 2021.

In 2022, paper products contributed the most to export earnings at US$4.37bn, up 18% year-on-year, followed by wood pulp at US$3.73bn, up 15% year-on-year. The other wood products that made a large contribution were wood panels at US$2.86bn, and furniture worth US$2.26bn.

In addition to the current products exported, such as paper, panels and furniture, efforts will be made to export wood pellets, according to the chairman of the APHI, Indroyono Soesilo.

He added there is a skyrocketing demand for Indonesian wood products in Eastern European member states.

Markets such as Bulgaria, Lithuania, Slovenia and other Eastern European countries are to be the target for expanded wood product exports from Indonesia to the EU. For instance, in Bulgaria there was a 100% increase in Indonesian wood product exports over the above period, a 400% increase in Croatia, 125% in Lithuania and a massive jump in exports to Slovakia.

Growth in non-traditional market countries will be an opportunity to increase exports amid the economic challenges of 2023.