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Use of wood from rubber, oil palm trees increasing, says MTIB

Original Source:

https://www.nst.com.my/business/2017/12/312606/use-wood-rubber-oil-palm-trees-increasing-says-mtib


The move away from hardwood timber was also in line with efforts to conserve the country’s natural forests, said Malaysian Timber Industry (MTIB) director-general Datuk Dr Jalaluddin Harun. FILE PIC

By AYISY YUSOF

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is using more wood from oil palm and rubber trees as raw materials given their versatility and durability.

The move away from hardwood timber was also in line with efforts to conserve the country’s natural forests, said Malaysian Timber Industry (MTIB) director-general Datuk Dr Jalaluddin Harun.

With ample supply of rubber and oil palm plantations, timber players were looking at using rubber and oil palm tree trunks to produce veneer, plywood and panels, he told NST Business recently.

“We have relatively huge rubber and oil palm plantations. Currently, 80 per cent of our furniture exports come from rubber wood. The future of the plantation sector is secure,” he added.

Malaysia has close to 1.1 million hectares of rubber estates to sustain demand for timber downstream businesses.

“We also have 5.7 million hectares of oil palm plantations. These estates undergo replanting process after 25 years. We have about 80,000ha to 100,000ha oil palm plantations available for harvesting and replanting annually,” he said.

There are currently five factories producing veneer plywood and soft-timber made from oil palm trunks.

Jalaluddin said the National Forestry Department was actively replanting trees. “In that sense, we are managing the situation sustainably for the future. For example, we plant Acacia mangium. We have more than 300,000ha in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.”

Malaysia is the world’s eighth largest exporter of wooden furniture. Japan is its biggest markets for timber exports, followed by the United States, European Union, India and Australia.

MTIB also encourages the imports of raw materials from North America, Europe, Africa and Latin America to value-add Malaysia’s furniture making value chain. Finished products are then exported at premium pricing.

A local timber expert concurred with Jalaluddin that Malaysia is on the right track by focusing on more downstream timber business.

“We’re increasingly value — adding to logs by processing them into furniture parts, building components like flooring, wall panels and mouldings.”

Affin Hwang Capital plantation analyst Nadia Aquidah said there was scarcity in timber supply globally due to reduced natural forest logs.


“There is no problem in selling our logs because there is a global shortage for it. On the other hand, the demand for plywood remains stable,” she added.

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