Hornbill Unleashed

May 11, 2011

Fewer Sarawak logs going to S Korea

FMT Staff

South Korea which is the second largest purchaser of logs from Sarawak has reduced its intake following complaints by the Korean Wood Panel Association.

Sarawak’s log exports to South Korea dipped by a painful 42% to 91,529 cubic metres following the Korean Trade Commission’s (KTC) decision to impose anti-dumping duties on imports of Malaysian plywood last year.

In revealing this, AmResearch Sdn Bhd sustained its hold call on local timber players Ta Ann Holdings Bhd and Jaya Tiasa Holdings Bhd which is one of eight Sarawak plywood suppliers affected by the anti-dumping duties. Jaya Tiasa is owned by Rimbunan Hijau Group.

South Korea is the second largest purchaser of logs from Sarawak.

In 2010, South Korea imported 530,000 cu.m of panel products from Sarawak worth RM570 million.

This is the first time anti-dumping duties have been imposed on Malaysian plywood in the international markets.

The KTC’s decision on Dec 15 last year was based on a probe into complaints by the Korean Wood Panel Association that eight Malaysian plywood exporters from Sarawak were allegedly under-cutting the market and selling their products below their production costs.

They claimed the under-cutting hurt many South Korean plywood manufacturers.

KTC imposed anti-dumping duties ranging from five to 38% duties on plywood imports from Malaysia for three years.

Some eight Sarawak plywood suppliers are affected. These include Subur Tiasa Plywood Sdn Bhd, Jaya Tiasa Timber Products Sdn Bhd, Hwa Sen Veneer and Plywood Industry Sdn Bhd, Shin Yang Plywood Sdn Bhd, Forescom Plywood Bhd, Menawan Wood Sdn Bhd, Shin Yang Plywood Bintulu Sdn Bhd and Zedtee Plywood Sdn Bhd.

Several of these companies have also been blacklisted by the Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) for indiscriminate logging and the destruction of the rainforest.

Much of the large timber companies are linked to Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud and his family.

During the recent state election, land grabs and indiscriminate and illegal logging were among the key issues flagged by the opposition.

Higher prices

Meanwhile AmResearch also noted a recent surge in Sarawak’s plywood export prices.

Analysts attributed the average 50% increase this month to Japan restocking its inventories and to higher demand from traditional buyers in the US.

“Japan, the number one importer of Sarawak’s plywood, is buying more in preparation for the reconstruction of Sendai,” the research house noted in its latest report.

Sendai is a Pacific coastal town that was destroyed by the devastating earthquake and tsunami last March.

AmResearch also attributed this increase to the lower production by mills in Sarawak because of the wet weather.


1 Comment »

  1. All trees chopped from NCR Lands!

    Comment by Kobelco — May 12, 2011 @ 3:45 PM | Reply

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