Malaysian wood products industry expected to recover this year

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The wood products industry is expected to recover this year following improved growth projections for the US economy, the main market for Malaysia’s furniture exports.

Johari Ghani, the Minister for Plantation and Commodities said the industry’s performance has declined over the past two years but the government is committed to supporting its sustainability and growth. “For 2024, we are quite confident that furniture exports will rebound to their former strength,” he said after opening the Malaysia International Furniture Fair (MIFF) 2024 held in Kuala Lumpur.

In his address the Minister said the timber and furniture industry was not insulated from the effects of global headwinds which resulted in exports of wood products falling by 13% in 2022 and 18% last year. This was largely due to a weakening in housing demand in the US, the biggest buyer of Malaysian furniture, accounting for over half of furniture exports.

The Malaysian furniture industry is largely export- oriented, with 44% of exports being shipped to 186 countries over the past five years. Johari said the government has spent almost RM 1 billion for the Forest Plantation Development Programme and provided soft loans to 88 companies for replanting projects.

The Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF), one of the main furniture trade show in South-East Asia, had a record number of 714 exhibitors from 15 countries. The four-day event, from 1 - 4 March, was held in the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre. The Fair is expected to bring in US$1.3 bil. in sales.

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