Sarawak’s timber firms have suffered severely as the state authorities reduce log export quota and tighten timber harvesting activities . Sluggish plywood market and the state government’s foreign exchange earnings have also affected business.
In 2016, Sarawak’s export revenue from logs and timber products fell 17.5 percent to RM5.94bn, according to newly released figures from Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corp.
Exported log value fell 21 percent to RM1.4bn year-on-year while that of plywood dropped 10 percent to RM2.94bn.
Logs and plywood products made up 23 percent and 49 percent respectively of total export revenue in 2016. Other main exported timber products were lumber, fibreboard and veneer.
Timber companies are currently only allowed to export up to 30 percent of their log productions under a revised state policy which was enforced in June last year.
For many years, log exports have accounted for 40 percent of total production but this was revised upward to 50 percent in 2014.