Timber Industry Logged 10.1% Growth, Wooden Furniture as Main Driver

The Malaysian timber industry has posted 10.1% increase in total trade of timber and timber products from January to March (Q1) 2022 with RM8.69 billion in 2022 as compared to RM7.89 billion in first quarter of 2021.

The Russia-Ukraine war has affected the supply chains and prices of commodities worldwide, it has created a demand for Malaysian timber-based products and has driven the prices of timber.

Wooden furniture remained the highest contributor with RM3.1 billion or 47.3% in exports in Q1 2022 followed by plywood with RM896.5 million or 13.7% and sawntimber with exports of RM640.9 million (9.8%).

The top three export destinations for Malaysia’s timber and timber products were the United States (34.8%), Japan (14.8%) and China (9.0%). Malaysia’s exports of wooden furniture were mainly to the United States (59.3%) followed by Japan (5.6%) and Singapore (4.4%).

“We are pleased that the timber industry is showing such dynamism in exports. Our industry members are resolute, and the government has also created an environment for the industry to thrive,” said the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) Chairman Madam Hajah Norrida Yusoff.

“The recent trade visits to the US and Europe as well as the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities’ agri-commodities promotional efforts to the Middle East have opened business opportunities for Malaysian timber-based manufacturers,” she added.

“Businesses are the engines of our economy and a conducive climate for trade is vital for these manufacturers to flourish,” she said.

There was also an increase in the imports of timber and timber products in Q1 2022. The imports increased by 16.4% from RM1.8 billion in Q1 2021 to RM2.1 billion in Q1 2022. Malaysia imported the most from China (37.5%) followed by Indonesia (20.2%) and Vietnam (8.6%).

Among the raw materials imported were sawntimber (RM218.6 million) and veneer (RM127.2 million) which increased by 54.1% and 57.1%, respectively, year-on-year.

However, there was a drop in imports for particleboard/chipboard and logs, at RM101.1 million and RM48.8 million, respectively, which represent a decline of 22.8% and 21.8%, respectively, year-on-year.

“Augmenting raw material supply and securing alternative sources of raw material are crucial for the industry. We have been implementing programmes to assist our industry players to meet their production needs where possible,” said the MTC CEO Mr. Muhtar Suhaili.

“MTC has also been actively conducting its nationwide Roadshows with recent visits to Sabah and Sarawak for potential collaborations in augmenting raw materials from these two States for timber-based manufacturers in the Peninsular apart from sharing the programmes and services that MTC has to grow their businesses,” he added.

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