Friday, September 23, 2011

Timber exports target cut to RM20b

KUALA LUMPUR: The global economic slowdown has taken a toll on Malaysia's exports of timber and timber products, prompting the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) to revise downward its forecast for 2011.

"Earlier in the year, we expected the value to be RM23 billion but due to the economic slowdown it's lower now," MITB director-general Dr Jalaludin Harun said on Friday, Sept 23.

"We will be very happy if it can touch RM20 billion," he told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar on Building A Sustainable Future Through Timber CONSTRUCTION [] here.Malaysia's exports of timber and timber products amounted to RM20.52 billion last year.

Deputy PLANTATION [] Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainudin said in a speech read out by Jalaludin that lower exports would not augur well with the aspirations of the National Timber Industry Policy (NATIP) which has set an export target of RM53 billion by 2020.

"The MTIB and the Malaysian Timber Council (MTC) should be working together with the industry to re-strategise our marketing efforts to address the multiple and simultaneous challenges faced by the industry," he said.

Exports aside, he said, the timber industry should also place greater emphasis on the domestic market which has tremendous potential for growth.

"A recent study by the MTIB and the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) shows that domestic consumption of timber is estimated to be more than
RM20 billion," he said.

Of the total, sawn timber accounts for RM10.8 billion, furniture RM4 billion, plywood and other panels RM4 billion, door/window frames RM1 billion,
and others RM1 billion. - Bernama

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