Panels & Furniture Asia Jan/Feb 2019

PANELS & FURNITURE ASIA • Issue 1 • January / February 2019 MARKET REPORT 15 According to Dato’ Low, Malaysian furniture is exported to more than 160 countries across the globe, with the top three export destinations being the United States of America, Japan and Australia. In the order of product popularity, dining furniture sets are the most sought-after, followed by living room systems and office furniture, and outdoor and occasional furniture. Among the popular Malaysian timbers used for furniture manufacturing are Rubberwood, Nyatoh, Kembang Semangkok, Dark Red Meranti, Balau and Acacia. Of these timbers, Rubberwood is the most popular as about 80 per cent of Malaysian wooden furniture is made from this species alone. PLYWOOD – COMPLYING WITH INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS On plywood, Dato’ Low said that the product has been produced in Malaysia since the 1940s. However, the industry really took off in the mid-1960s when many markets like the U.S., Europe, Korea and Japan began appreciating the high quality and technical reliability of Malaysian plywood. He added that the Malaysian plywood industry is concentrated in the East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, although some of the longer established mills are located in Peninsular Malaysia. In 2017, exports of Malaysian plywood were valued at RM4.61 billion (US$1.12 billion). Up to September 2018, the value of Malaysian plywood exports was RM3.41 billion (US$0.83 billion). The plywood types produced in Malaysia include common veneer face plywood, decorative plywood, overlaid plywood including printed paper and polyester plywood, phenolic film-faced plywood, plywood for concrete formwork and container flooring, as well as marine plywood. Some mills have ventured into veneer-based products such as Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) and plywood-based flooring. The bulk of the plywood produced in Malaysia is the standard 1220mm x 2440mm (4’ x 8’) utility plywood with the surfaces sanded and edge-trimmed. Othersizesavailableare915mmx2135mm (3’ x 7’) and 915mm x 1830mm (3’ x 6’). Common thickness ranges from 3mm to 25mm in 3 to 13 plies. Malaysian plywood is produced in compliance with internationally recognised standards such as the International Standards Organisation, Japan Agriculture Standards, British Standards, US Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board and Harmonised European Standards for Europe. Adhesives commonly used include Urea Formaldehyde for Moisture Resistance grade, and Phenol Formaldehyde or Phenol Resorcinol Formaldehyde for Water and Boil Proof grade. Low concentrations of formaldehyde formulations ensure Malaysian mouldings and BJC wood products are able to meet the increasing demand of buyers for use in building and construction projects, said Dato' Low Malaysian furniture is exported to more than 160 countries across the globe, with dining furniture sets being the most sought-after