• Malaysia

Overview of timber sector of Malaysia

Production of 18,6 million m3 of logs (2018)

Production and processing

Main harvested species

Commonly harvested species from natural forests include Meranti (Shorea spp.), Keruing (Dipterocarpus spp.), and Merbau (Intsia spp.), although many more species are harvested. Commonly harvested species from plantations include Acacia (Acacia spp.), Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus spp.) and Rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis).

According to ITTO (2020), the Malaysian industry produced in 2018 about 18.6 million m3 of logs, of which around 9% was exported in round logs, for a value of around 230 million US dollars, while the total exports of the main primary timber products accounted for a value of around 2’175 million US dollars.

Peninsular Malaysia banned sales of round logs, Sabah banned log sales in 2019 with some exception on plantation logs, while Sarawak maintains quotas for each Forest Timber License.  The forestry sector in Malaysia comprises four major sub-sectors with regard to wood-based processed materials and goods: (i) sawn timber, (ii) veneer and panel products (i.e. plywood), (iii) mouldings and builders’ joinery and carpentry (i.e. doors, windows, etc.) and, lastly, (iv) furniture and associated components. Sawn timber is produced mainly in Peninsular Malaysia (nearly 70%); 20% comes from Sarawak, and 10% from Sabah (Hoare, 2015). The majority of plywood is produced in Sarawak (about 70%), while 20% comes from Sabah and the remaining 10% from Peninsular Malaysia. The industry is predominantly owned by Malaysian companies and roughly 80-90% of these businesses are small and medium enterprises (Forest Legality Alliance).


Asia is the major export market destination for Malaysia’s timber products, notably Japan (plywood being the main product exported) but also others such as India, Thailand and China (logs, sawnwood and plywood). The US and the EU are other important markets importing significant volumes of wood-based products from Malaysia, plywood, sawnwood and furniture. The US and EU markets are predominantly supplied by Peninsular Malaysia (Hoare, 2015).


Timber export Malaysia

Data table

(X 1000m3)
(X 1000m3)
Domestic consumption
(X 1000m3)
(X 1000m3)
logs 20.650 14 18.064 2.600
Sawnwood 3.249 351 1.435 2.164
Veneer 543 114 444 213
Plywood 2.909 459 619 2.749

ITTO (2019), data 2017