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Sabah ban on log exports to maintain local mills

The export of logs from Sabah, Malaysia a major timber producing state, has been banned with immediate effect. Source: Timberbiz

The recently-elected Chief Minister, Mohd Shafie Apdal, said the move was taken to ensure sufficient timber for mills in the State and to secure jobs. The steady decline in availability of natural forest logs is behind this ban, say analysts.

In recent years Sabah exported between 200,000 and 300,000 tonnes of logs to countries such as China, Japan, Philippines and India.

James Hwong You Chuaang, president of Sabah Timber Industries Association (STIA), welcomed the ban saying this long awaited measure will help revive the timber industry in the State where many mills have been forced out of business because of a log shortage.

It is the uncertainty over log supply that has held back investment in downstream manufacturing, said Hwong.

Members of the STIA hope this ban will be the beginning of a new era in the timber industry in Sabah