Malaysia: Industries close to welcome Chinese Year of the snake

ITTO's Tropical Timber Market Report
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The timber industry in Malaysia traditionally closes for the Chinese New Year celebrations. This year the Chinese Year of the Snake started on 10th Feb 2013. Factories in Malaysia are expected to be closed until 18 February. There is virtually no timber traded during this holiday period.

Furniture exports set to exceed US$2 billion for 2012
The latest national statistics on the timber sector were released for the period January to November 2012 showing a very healthy export value of RM 18.5 billion (approx. US$ 6.0 billion).

The leading timber sub-sector, in terms of export, was wooden furniture which reached RM 5.99 billion (approx. US$ 1.93 billion). Plywood exports were the second highest at RM 4.7 billion (approx. US$ 1.52 billion).

Other major export sub-sectors were sawnwood RM 2.25 billion (approx. US$ 726 million), logs RM 1.55 billion (approx. US$ 500 million), MDF RM 1.06 billion (approx. US$ 342 million) and joinery products RM 900 million (approx. US$ 290 million).

New CEO for Malaysia Timber Certification Council
The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) announced the appointment of Teng Koon Yong as its CEO with effect from 1 Jan 2013. MTCC develops and operates the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) as an independent body. Mr. Yong is a trained forester with considerable experience.

32 percent of Malaysia’s permanent forest certified
The standards under the Malaysian certification system which are used for auditing forest management practices in the forest management units (FMUs) and forest plantation management units (FPMUs) are the Malaysian Criteria and Indicator (MC&I); one for natural forests and another for forest plantations.

The development and review of the standards had taken into account the country’s wide geographical spread and involved regional and national level consultations with multiple stakeholders.

Currently, there are nine FMUs certified under the Malaysian timber certification system covering an area of 4.65 million hectares and 32% of the total Permanent Reserved Forests in Malaysia. Certified timber from these areas is supplied to 171 companies which have obtained Chain of Custody certification.

No forest plantations have been certified under the Malaysian timber certification system at present. However, in line with international practice requireing a certification to standard be reviewed once every five years, the MC&I (Forest Plantations) is presently undergoing its first review process.

The MC&I (Forest Plantations) are now being subjected to the first 60-day public comment period which started from 15 January 2013.

In May 2009, the MTCS became the first tropical timber certification scheme in the Asian region to be endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), which is currently the leading forest certification system in the world. Certified companies in Malaysia are eligible to carry the PEFC logo on their certified timber products.

In July 2012, PEFC endorsed the MC&I (Forest Plantations) as part of the PEFC endorsement of the MTCS after an independent evaluation report was made to the PEFC Board. Accordingly, Malaysian companies which own or manage forest plantations can apply for forest plantation management certification under the PEFC scheme.

MTCC will be co-hosting the 18th General Assembly of the PEFC in Kuala Lumpur on 15 November 2013.

Malaysia expects RM 1bil investment from China in 2013
A press release by the Miniser of International Trade and Industry indicates that Malaysia is expecting about RM1bil. in investment from China this year.

Up to November 2012 the approved investment in the Malaysian manufacturing sector by Chinese enterprises was RM1.5bil, accounting for 7.8% of the total foreign investment of RM19.1bil approved for the sector.

The Minister said that Malaysia is hoping for more investments from China with the development of the joint Malaysia-China Industrial Park in Kuantan which is expected to be fully operational within two years.

China has been Malaysia's biggest trade partner since 2011, surpassing Singapore. For the first 11 months of 2012, the total trade between Malaysia and China was RM165.32bil, 9% higher than the same period in 2011.

The new industrial park is strategically located for investors from ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific regions and is seen by the Malaysian government as a possible catalyst for growth on the Peninsular East Coast.

The industries targeted for the site include the manufacture of equipment for plastics and metal, automotive components, fibre cement boards, stainless steel products, palm oil processing, carbon fibre, electrical and electronics, petrochemical, information and communications technology.

Log Export Prices (Sarawak)

Meranti SQ US$ 240 – 260 FOB
Kapur SQ US$ 320 – 350 FOB
Keruing SQ US$ 260 – 280 FOB
Selangan Batu regular US$ 320 – 360 FOB

Export Plywood Prices

Malaysia ply MR BB/CC, FOB US$ per m³
9mm & up
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