KUCHING: Sarawak recorded RM1.42 billion in total export earning of timber and timber products in the first three months of this year.
In revealing this, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan however pointed out that the tight supply of logs in the local market and uncertain markets have continued to impact the export of timber from the state.
“Japan remains the largest buyer of timber and timber products from the state that accounted for 42 per cent or RM592 million of the overall export earning, followed by India 15 per cent (RM213 million), South Korea 10 per cent (RM146 million) and the Middle East eight per cent (RM112 million),” he said.
“Plywood, log, sawn timber and medium density fibreboard are the major products exported,” he said in his address at the 3rd Sarawak Timber and SMEs Expo at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching here yesterday.
He also said Sarawak’s export of wooden furniture registered an increase of five per cent to RM11.16 million in the first quarter of this year from RM10.66 in the same period last year.
“This positive trend augurs well for future growth and export of furniture from Sarawak. The timber industry will continue to become one of the significant contributors to the state’s socio-economic growth in years to come,” he assured.
On the expo, Awang Tengah emphasised they hope to achieve a total sales of RM120 million this year with wider range of exhibitors, better products displayed and in preparation for the upcoming Ramadhan.
Themed ‘Timber and Beyond’, the expo was organised by the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC) and the Ministry of Industrial and Entrepreneur Development in conjunction with the state-level SME Week 2017.
The expo focuses on the promotion of timber products not only from natural forest but also planted species like Acacia, and other non-timber materials such as bamboo, palm trees (nibong, coconut trunk) and others for the sustainable development of timber industry in the future.
The expo received an overwhelming response from exhibitors, with 280 taking a total of 494 booths.
“This is a trade and consumer fair that serves as a platform for the local timber industry players and SMEs to enhance networking and promote trade and sale of their products,” he said.
“The response shows recognition for the expo, given the fact that it is only held for the third time. This may be the right time for us to consider building another exhibition hall with bigger capacity to meet the future demand,” he added.