Sarawak’s export value of logs, timber products drops

SARAWAK’s total export value of logs and timber products has dropped since three years ago to RM5.95 billion in 2016.

Second Minister  of Urban Development and Natural Resources  Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the figure (RM5.95 billion) was a decrease of 10 per cent from the RM6.57 billion in 2015.

He said the decrease in export value was due to unstable economy in major market like Japan, India, Taiwan and South Korea.

He said in terms of timber productions, plywood had decreased from 2.74 million cubic metres in 2012 to 1.82 million cubic metres in 2016.

“The production of sawn timber dropped from 1.06 million cubic metres in 2012 to 0.68 million cubic metres in 2016.

“The decrease in the production of timber products, among others, is caused by reduction in raw timber production,” he said in his winding-up speech yesterday.

Awang Tengah said the decrease in log production in the state was a result of the government’s policy to reduce the opening of new forest for logging and the implementation of sustainable forest policy.

He said to sustain the growth of wood industry, Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) had enhanced its effort – giving focus on research and development initiative, upgrading of technology that is more innovative and effective to boost productivity and high added value that is more competitive.

“The use of alternative raw material especially from forest plantation is also very much encouraged to produce wood products for export,” he said

Awang Tengah also said the state government has implemented the forest management certification to ensure licence holders comply with the sustainable forest standard and practices that is recognised internationally.

He said for a start the government has targeted at least one licensed area belonging to the big six timber companies and STIDC to get the certification this year.

He said to reduce the dependency on natural forest for raw materials and to ensure sustainable wood supply to meet the need of industries, the government had implemented forest plantation or forest industry programme.

He said to date 383,200ha have been planted with forest.

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