The Malaysian state of Sarawak sold about US$364m worth of plywood during the first half of 2007.

Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation said plywood remained the top export product for the country’s timber and wood product industries, accounting for 56% of the sector’s total export value.

Export volumes reduced by nearly 13% to 1.37 million m3 during the period but prices continued to improve.

The biggest importer of Malaysian plywood was Japan with 58% of the volume, followed by the Middle East which bought 131,500m3.

Exports to the US fell by 51% to 48,700m3.

Sawn timber export earnings grew slightly to US$130.6m, while volumes were down by 7% to 485,000m3.

Thailand was the biggest importer of sawn products with a 26.6% share – 141,900m3. The Middle East followed close behind with a 20% share.

Particleboard export values grew by 22%, with neighbour Indonesia buying 50% of exports. MDF volumes and value also increased.

Log export earnings dipped by 2.4%, with volumes also dropping by 2.5% to 1.74 million m3. India remained top buyer of Sarawak’s logs – 695,000m3, with Japan, Taiwan and China also figuring.