Three pillars of Malaysian timber industry

Three pillars of Malaysian timber industry

Wooden furniture, plywood and sawn timber are the top three sources of foreign exchange income for Malaysia’s timber industry.

Furniture – exports to more than 160 countries

About 30 years ago, Malaysia’s furniture industry was still a domestic oriented industry, and now Malaysia has developed into a major producer and exporter of global furniture. Sustainable management of forest resources, strong institutional support and encouragement from the government, application of cutting-edge technologies and Entrepreneurship of entrepreneurs are all factors that make Malaysia a furniture manufacturing center today, especially in the Asia Pacific region.

Malaysia exports furniture to more than 160 countries in the world, and the top three export destinations are the United States, Japan and Australia. By product popularity, catering furniture sets are the most popular, followed by living room, system and office furniture, as well as outdoor and leisure furniture.


Among the Malaysian wood for furniture manufacturing, the most popular are rubber wood, nyatoh, kembang semangkok, dark red Meranti, Balau and Acacia. Among these wood, rubber wood is the most popular, because 80% of Malaysia’s wooden furniture is made of this kind of wood.

Plywood – in accordance with international standards

In plywood, the product has been produced in Malaysia since the 1940s. However, the industry really started in the mid-1960s, when many markets in the United States, Europe, South Korea and Japan began to realize the high quality and technical reliability of plywood in Malaysia.

The plywood industry in Malaysia is concentrated in Sabah and Sarawak in the east of Malaysia, and some long-standing plywood factories are located in the Peninsular Malaysia.

The plywood types produced in Malaysia include ordinary veneer plywood, decorative plywood, coated plywood (including printing paper and polyester plywood), phenolic coated plywood, plywood for concrete formwork and container pallet, marine plywood, etc. Some factories have been involved in veneer products, such as laminated veneer (LVL) and plywood based composite flooring.

Most plywood produced in Malaysia is standard 1220mmx2440mm (4’X8 ‘) practical plywood, with its surface sanded and edge trimmed. Other available sizes are 915mm x 2135mm (3’x 7 ‘) and 915mmx1830mm (3’x6’), generally 3 to 13 layers (3mm to 25mm) thick.

Plywood production in Malaysia complies with internationally recognized standards, such as international standards organization, Japanese agricultural standards, British standards, US Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Commission and European uniform standards.

The commonly used adhesives are urea aldehyde of moisture-proof grade, phenolic or resorcinol of waterproof cooking grade. The low concentration formaldehyde formula ensures that it meets the emission level requirements of E0 and E1.

The commonly used wood used in plywood production in Malaysia includes bintangor, eucalypt, kelempayan, Keruing, mengkulang, sepetir and yellow Meranti.

Sawn timber: a pioneer in the field of wood processing

Malaysia produces various sizes and varieties of sawn timber and exports them in the form of graded or unsorted sawn timber. Since 2012, Thailand, China and the Philippines have been Malaysia’s three major export destinations for sawn timber. The main varieties exported by Malaysian sawmills are saposhi, Kapur, borneol, Kempas, kelat, keranji, Meranti and mersawa.

Sawn timber

At present, the practice of grading sawn timber is to a large extent a trading arrangement, usually according to specific requirements. According to the purpose of purchasing wood, the buyer who wants to purchase Malaysian graded wood can choose to grade the wood according to the general market specification or the special market specification of Malaysian grading rules (Mgr).

General market specifications apply only to log wood, such as log boards and planks, which are usually re sawn before use and graded under the cutting system. Special market specifications are specific to the specific use of wood and usually specify the final dimensions, such as railroad sleepers and rails.

Although grading is no longer mandatory, Mgr is still a guarantee tool for buyers to purchase Malaysian timber. If buyers want to get a specific quality of material, they should order graded wood. The purpose of this rule is to provide sawn timber delivered from Malaysia with a quality declaration.

Value added wood products

Malaysia also exports value-added wood products such as moulds, wood frames, building carpentry and Joinery (BJC) products.

Wooden frame

Since Malaysian carpenters and builders began to shape and use wood, the molding and BJC industries have made rapid progress. Today, a variety of high-quality molds and BJC products, such as wooden cornice, siding, dado, door frame, window frame, floor, deck, photo frame and laminated beam, are produced in Malaysia and exported to all over the world.

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