Lao PDR is the major producer of Siam or Lao benzoin, a balsamic resin obtained from the yan tree (Styrax tonkinensis), which is native to Southeast Asia. Annual production of Siam benzoin, one of the two types of commercially produced benzoin, is around 50 tonnes. In some years Lao PDR is the sole producer of benzoin, although Viet Nam is believed to intermittently produce much smaller amounts.
The second type of commercial benzoin, Sumatra benzoin, is derived from two other Styrax species: S. benzoin and S. paralleloneurum, both also Southeast Asian trees. Indonesia, specifically north Sumatra, is the only producer of Sumatra benzoin. The scale of production of the two types of benzoin is very different. Annual production of Sumatra benzoin is of the order of 1,000 tonnes. This production figure for Sumatra benzoin is based on Indonesian export data. It is important to note that some of this benzoin contains damar, which is used in the manufacture of benzoin block. The actual figure for genuine benzoin could be as low as half this, i.e. about 500 tonnes.