We examined the contribution of rubberwood to the timber export markets of Malaysia and Thailand. In Malaysia, rubberwood has grown from 26% of total exported wood products in 1998 to 35% in 2007. A high proportion of furniture products (80%) is rubberwood, whereas the contribution of rubberwood to other wooden products is less than 20%. Only 10% of sawn timber and logs is rubberwood. In Thailand, rubberwood contributes to around 60% of total exported wood products, arising from a high share of not only furniture products (70%) but also other wood products (around 50%) and sawn timber and logs, which have increased in share from 40% in 1998 to 79% in 2007. We conclude that the high proportion of rubberwood products in the wood export markets of these two countries is a result of: (1) scarcity of raw wood materials because of strict controls on the logging of natural forests; and (2) governmental support to rubberwood production, including financial support to rubber planters and technical assistance to downstream timber processors.
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