The Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) is confident that domestic wood exports will remain buoyant this year despite the global challenges.
MTC chief executive Dr Abdul Rahim Nik said the outlook for the industry is quite positive, especially regional sales. Both India and China have been earmarked as markets of opportunity.
However, he conceded that “continued growth and progress will be dependent on the industry’s ability to shift from the current manufacturing-based focus to a more innovation centric one, providing more value-added products to international markets”.
Malaysia’s 2015 exports of sawnwood, plywood, veneer and furniture increased 6.5% year-on-year to reach approximately US$5.5 billion.
Furniture exports alone increased 14% last year. Overall, the timber sector contributed just over 18% to total exports earnings in the commodity sector.