Malaysia Wood Industry

Malaysia is one of the South East Asia countries, supplies majority quality timber woods to mostly Asian countries like Taiwan, China, Australia and Japan. For the last 8 years until today, Malaysian timber woods are gaining popularity due to their competitive market price, quality, uniqueness and sustain from the Malaysian government.

Malaysian Rubberwood is use for making mostly furniture, mouldings and joinery products. This is because it contains a special glue-lamination similarities which rendered it as one of the most appropriate timber in the making of a wide range of products such as household implements, blockbard cores, staircases, parquet flooring and door & window frames. Manufacturers also use rubberwood for panel products such as plywood and Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL). There is nothing left to waste in production where the rubberwood off-cuts and residues are widely used in Malaysia for the production of particleboard, wood-cement board and medium density fibrewood (MDF).

Beside rubberwoods, there are other quality woods which can nevertheless perform quite the same characteristics such as the Burmese TeakwoodS, Merbau, Belian, Burmese Ironwoods, Walnut, Kempas, Rosewoods, Red Balau, US White Oak, Chengai, Tualang and Keranji.

Here are some wood characteristics for your general knowledge.

SOFTWOODS

There are very few true softwoods of commercial significance in Malaysia. None are lasting in the tropics. The main difference between the timber of Hardwoods and Softwoods (conifers) is the absence of vessels (pores) in Softwoods.

LIGHT HARDWOODS

These include all the comparatively light weight and soft timbers which range in density from about 400 to 720 kg. per cu. m. at 15 per cent moisture content. They are the ‘general utility’ timbers of Malaysia, comparable with the general utility timbers in temperate climates; the latter however, are mainly softwoods (conifers). In addition to general utility purposes many of these Light Hardwoods are excellent for high class joinery work, cabinet making, furniture, decorative paneling, etc. Although not naturally lasting in tropical climate, some are quite lasting in temperate regions. Provided that proper precautions are taken against attack by wood destroying agents, the Light Hardwoods as a whole make very satisfactory timbers for general construction already when used in tropical climates.

HEAVY HARDWOODS

These are heavy or very heavy constructional timbers ranging in density from about 800 to 1,120 kg. per cu. m. at 15 per cent moisture content. They are naturally lasting as they contain within their tissues some toxic materials, e.g. alkaloides or other substances repellent to wood destroying agents and can consequently be safely used without preservative treatment already in locaiongs exposed to fungus or termite activities; the sapwood of these timbers, however, is not lasting.

The are four major sub-sectors for wood-based industry in Malaysia:-

1. Sawn timber

2. Veneer and panel products which include plywood and other reconstituted panel products such as particleboard/chipboard/fibreboard.

3. Mouldings and builders joinery and carpentry (BJC) such as doors/windows and its elements, panels and flooring board/parquet.

4. Furniture and furniture elements.

The industry is predominantly owned by Malaysian and it is estimated that 80% of timber-based companies are small and medium size companies. Most of the larger sawmills, veneer and plywood mills are located in Sabah and Sarawak. Mills in Sabah and Sarawak utilize tropical wood species for the production of sawn timber, veneer, plywood and other veneered panel products. More than 45 per cent of the plywood mills and 60 per cent of the mouldings mills are located in Sabah and Sarawak. The downstream processing mills for the production of fibreboard, BJC in addition as furniture and furniture elements are mainly located in Peninsular Malaysia. These mills mainly utilize rubberwood which are sourced from sustainable plantations.

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