The Malaysia Timber Industry Board (MTIB) has reported on the export performance of the timber industry in the first half of the year to see the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on exports.
The value of exports of all wood products for the first half of this year was RM9,601 million – some 9% below 1H 2019 exports of RM10,565.21 million.
The value of Malaysian wood product exports in June 2020 increased 50% month-on-month to RM1.9 billion. However, cumulative exports for the period of January to June 2020 dropped by 9%.
Sawnwood exports in June 2020 increased both in volume and in value. Cumulative exports for the period of January to June 2020 declined 36% in volume and 37% in value to 584,869 cubic metres worth RM1.1 billion.
Exports of medium-density fibreboards (MDF) in June 2020 increased month-on-month in both volume and value to 36,897 cubic metres worth RM55.2 million. Cumulative exports for January to June 2020 fell 38% to 278,433 cubic metres and were worth RM380.7 million.
Exports of plywood in June 2020 increased both in volume and value by 31% and 26% respectively to 116,328 cubic metres. However, cumulative exports for January to June 2020 declined by 48% to 790,203 cubic metres and by 15% in value to RM1.5 billion.
Exports of mouldings in June increased by 48% in volume and by 46% in value. However, cumulative exports for the first six months of 2020 declined year-on-year by 31% in volume and 29% in value to 83,876 cubic metres worth RM313.2 million.
Exports of veneer in June 2020 grew month-on-month by 47% in volume and 75% in value to 2,959 cubic metres and RM6.2 million. In contrast, cumulative exports for 2020 January to June compared to 2019 declined in volume by 48% to 28,892 cubic metres and in value by 47% (RM46.1 million).
Builders Joinery and Carpentry (BJC) exports in June 2020 jumped 21% in volume and 19% in value to 10,430,859 cubic metres and RM85.4 million month-on-month. Total BJC exports in the first half of 2020 compared to the corresponding period last year dropped 12%.
Exports of wooden and rattan furniture for the period of January to June 2020 recorded mixed trends.
President of the Malaysian Furniture Council, Khoo Yeow Chong, writing in the Malaysia Furniture News Oct 2020 (no.12), said the furniture sector is recovering. Statistics provided by the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) has shown that the export value from January to June 2020 was RM5.06 billion compared to January to June 2019 at RM4.92 billion, an improvement of 2.9%.
He said that while this performance is lower than anticipated, “the Malaysian furniture industry remains resilient in the face of adversity under various challenges and restrictions”. One particular success mentioned by Khoo was the increase in exports of wooden kitchen furniture in the first half of 2020.
Source: International Tropical Timber Organization Tropical Timber Market Report