KUCHING: Sarawak’s monthly export earnings from logs and timber products has dropped sharply in June 2022 to about RM246.97 million (free on board value) from RM318.2 million in previous month of May or down by RM71 million or 22.4 per cent.
Month-on-month, there was a significant decline in the export volume of logs and plywood.
In June, logs export volume plunged to 18,721 cubic metres (cu m) worth RM19.54 million from 43,085 cu m valued at RM44.89 million in May, according to export data released by Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation (STIDC).
In the first six months of 2022 (6m2022), Sarawak earned RM229.53 million in foreign exchange from logs export (230,979 cu m), which was, however, higher than RM209.99 million (212,259 cu m) in 6m2021.
Sarawak logs were shipped to three overseas markets — India, Taiwan and Japan — this year.
India remained as the single largest export destination for Sarawak logs as that country paid about RM209.2 million for 212,899 cu m in 6m2022.
Taiwan came in second with imports of 12,116 cu m worth RM13.3 million and Japan paid RM7.03 million for 5,963 cu m.
The bulk of the logs exported in 6m2022 comprise of meranti species, which amounted to 144,477 cu m (RM134.5 million) or nearly 63 per cent of total export volume.
The exports of kapur logs earned the state RM26.6 million (20,306 cu m).
In June 2022, Sarawak’s plywood export volume fell to 52,599 cu m (RM157.23 million) from 68,625 cu m (RM203.68 million) in May, bringing total exports in 6m2022 to 422,052 cu m (RM1.19 billion).
Although this year’s plywood export volume decreased by 105,048 cu m from 527,550 cu m in 6m2021, the export earnings has increased by RM142 million from RM1.04 billion due to higher export prices.
Japan remained the top importer of Sarawak plywood, absorbing 347,556 cu m for RM994.8 million in 6m2022.
The United States was placed second, paying RM44.24 million for 11,043 cum, followed by Yemen which imported 22,130 cu m for RM44.12 million.
Sarawak plywood was exported to more than 20 countries, including key markets of Korea and Taiwan.
The STIDC data showed that fibreboard was the second more important timber product revenue earner for Sarawak, which recorded export receipt of RM38.93 million (15,521 cu m) in June 2022.
This was a marked improvement from RM30.51 million (11,946 cu m) recorded in May 2021.
In 6m2022, Sarawak exported RM234.1 million worth of fibreboard (96,329 cu m), which was a big jump from RM147.4 million (81,647 cu m) in 6m2021 or an increase of RM86.7 million or 59 per cent.
Sarawak’s fibreboard was shipped to 11 countries, with top buyer Japan absorbing 66,258 cu m for RM168.7 million in 6m2022.
Other key buyers were the Philippines and Indonesia which imported RM32.85 million and RM11.72 million worth of the product respectively.
In June 2022, Sarawak earned RM18.53 million from the exports of 9,175 cu m of sawn timber, a decline from RM22.77 million (10,689 cu m) in May.
In 6m2022, Sarawak shipped out 76,090 cu m of sawn timber and brought in export revenue of RM153.9 million, which was a significant improvement from RM135.38 million (66,915 cu m) recorded in May 2022.
Yemen was the No 1 buyer of Sarawak’s sawntimber, importing 13,888 cu m for RM34.3 million in first half-2022.
Taiwan came in second with shipment of 11,730 cu m (RM25.58 million) while the Philippines ranked third with imports of 15,829 cu m for RM24.75 million.
The product is on strong demand from buyers in 20 countries, including other Middle East nations.
Doorskin is another key timber product exported by Sarawak, which registered export revenue of RM4.94 million in June 2022, down from RM5.61 million in the previous month.
Total export earnings amounted to RM40.83 million in 6m2022 (6m2021: RM35.89 million).
Pakistan and India were the top buyers of Sarawak’s doorskin, paying RM25.38 million and RM7.68 million respectively for the purchases in 6m2022.
Last month, Sarawak also exported laminated board/flooring worth RM2.44 million, particleboard (RM1.86 million) and door panels & frame (RM978,422).
In 6m2022, Sarawak recorded overall export revenue of about RM1.91 billion from logs and timber products, which was higher than RM1.72 billion in 6m2021.
Sarawak earned more from the exports of woodchips in June 2022 to RM16.72 million from RM13.47 million in the previous month.
Total export earnings from woodchips expanded sharply to RM110.8 million in 6m2022 from RM86.8 million registered in the same period of 2021.
China and Japan were the only two importers of Sarawak’s woodchips, paying RM87.98 million and RM22.78 million respectively for the shipments.
In first half-2022, Sarawak also sold RM7.12 million worth of wood pellets to Korea, the sole importer.
Month-on-month, Sarawak recorded lower export earnings from furniture & furniture parts to RM3.09 million from RM9.68 million in May.
In 6m2022, the state registered RM30.7 million in furniture & furniture parts export revenue.
Japan was top importer, accounting for RM18.57 million, followed by the US (RM11.9 million) and Brunei Darusaaalam (RM123,760).
In 6m2022, Sarawak exported RM4.74 million worth of charcoal & briquette to Japan, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and other destinations.