KUCHING: The state authorities’ reduction in logs export quota and tigthening of timber harvesting activities, coupled with sluggish plywood market, have negatively impacted Sarawak-based timber firms’ bottom lines while slashing the state government’s foreign exchange earnings.
Last year, Sarawak’s export receipt from logs and timber products slumped by 17.5% to RM5.94bil from RM7.2bil in 2015, according to newly released figures from Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corp.
The value of exported logs fell by 21% to RM1.4bil from RM1.78bil year-on-year while that of plywood dropped by 10% to RM2.94bil from RM3.27bil.
Logs and plywood products made up 23% and 49% 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% of their log productions under a revised state policy which was enforced in June last year.
For many years, Sarawak had maintained logs exports up to 40% of total production but this was revised upward to 50% in 2014.