With the gradual recovery in the major market countries, the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) has assessed the opportunities for the commodity and wood processing sectors.
Tan Ting Wai, director of MTC’s Business Development Division, said that current market demand presents distinct opportunities in terms of consumer products for the West and industrial products for the East. In developed countries, governments are boosting demand through a variety of ways which has led to rising demand for consumer products. Countries which rely on exports are seeing a surge in demand which has driven up their requirements for raw materials and industrial inputs.
Tan is of the opinion that there are opportunities in supplying value-added semi-finished and finished products like outdoor furniture to China, because raw material and labour costs are rising, as are shipping costs. In addition, the production environment is becoming tough as environmental protection regulations in China are tightened.
In contrast to the situation in China, Tan pointed out the US is a major market for Malaysian furniture, accounting for almost 50% of total furniture exports. Demand in the US is driven by home building and remodelling, and growth in these sectors is expected to be maintained for some time.
In Europe, Malaysia’s market share for tropical wood products has dropped due mainly to supply issues during the various lockdowns, and has been compounded by a severe lack of shipping containers.