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Sustainability of the Rubberwood Sector in Malaysia



Hevea brasiliensis (popularly known as rubber tree) was introduced to Malaya almost a century ago. The wood from the tree has been traditionally regarded as a waste, but since the 1980s' it has found widespread utilization in the wood industry. The total export value of rubberwood products had grown by 39.44% in 2009 compared to 2000 [Malaysian Ringgit (RM) 5100.4 million]. However, the Malaysian export of rubberwood sawn timber declined since 1990, after the imposition of sawn timber export levy. On the other hand, the biggest export proportion of rubberwood products is represented by furniture. Rubberwood furniture accounted for 80% of the total export value of wooden furniture. Meanwhile, the contribution of panel products, such as MDF and particleboard is also substantial. Rubberwood is referred as an environmental friendly material with a low price, but issues related to its sustainable supply are becoming a major concern nowadays. The total area of rubber plantation has been steadily declining over the years as planters claimed less profit and shifted to oil palm cultivation. In this context, unless the profitability of rubber growers is ensured by increasing the net value of the wood resource, the future sustainability of rubberwood in Malaysia will remain debatable.
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Not Bot Horti Agrobo, 2011, 39(2):305-311
Print ISSN 0255-965X; Electronic 1842-4309
Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici
Sustainability of the Rubberwood Sector in Malaysia
Jegatheswaran R ATNASINGAM1 , Florin IOR2 , Lu WENMING3
1University Putra Malaysia, Faculty of Forestry, 43400 UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia;
2Institute for Conservation, Sustainability and Innoation, Buckinghamshire New University, Queen
Alexandra Road, High Wycombe, HP 11 2JZ Buckinghamshire, England
3Chinese Academy of Forestry, Wanshoushan Hou, Haidian District, Beijing 100091, P.R.China
Hevea brasiliensis (popularly known as rubber tree) was introduced to Malaya almost a century ago. e wood from the tree has
been traditionally regarded as a waste, but since the 1980s’ it has found widespread utilization in the wood industry. e total export
value of rubberwood products had grown by 39.44% in 2009 compared to 2000 [Malaysian Ringgit (RM) 5100.4 million]. However, the
Malaysian export of rubberwood sawn timber declined since 1990, aer the imposition of sawn timber export levy. On the other hand,
the biggest export proportion of rubberwood products is represented by furniture. Rubberwood furniture accounted for 80% of the total
export value of wooden furniture. Meanwhile, the contribution of panel products, such as MDF and particleboard is also substantial.
Rubberwood is referred as an environmental friendly material with a low price, but issues related to its sustainable supply are becoming
a major concern nowadays. e total area of rubber plantation has been steadily declining over the years as planters claimed less prot
and shied to oil palm cultivation. In this context, unless the protability of rubber growers is ensured by increasing the net value of the
wood resource, the future sustainability of rubberwood in Malaysia will remain debatable.
Keywords: export value, Malaysia, productions, rubber plantation, rubberwood, sustainable
Introduction to Rubberwood
Hevea brasiliensis or popularly known as rubber tree is
indigenous to the Amazon forest in Brazil. e plantation
of rubber tree in Malaya (now known as Malaysia) was in-
troduced by Sir Henry Wickham. e rubber seeds were
brought to Kew Garden, United Kingdom from Brazil in
1876. Some of the seedlings were then transported to Sin-
gapore Botanical Garden through Ceylon (now known as
Sri Lanka) in the same year but it failed to germinate. e
rubber seeds were transported again a year later to Singa-
pore Botanical Garden. Nine of rubber plants which were
successfully germinated in Botanical Garden were shipped
to Malaya and the initial plantation began in Kuala Kang-
sar in 1879 (Ratnasingam and Scholz, 2009).
A mature rubber tree is usually in the range of 20 to 30
m tall, and the diameter can reach up to 30 cm (Balsiger
et al., 2000). e trunk is generally free of branches up to
the height of 3 to 10 m (Lim et al., 2003). Rubberwood
(also known as Malaysian Oak) has a pleasant appearance
in colour, which is white to pale cream, and sometimes in-
clude a pinkish tinge. However, the colour changes to light
straw or light brown, due to weathering (Ratnasingam and
Scholz, 2009). Rubberwood is less durable, owing to no
dierences between the sapwood and heartwood and the
high starch content in the wood (Lim et al., 2003).
Rubber trees are now widely planted in 20 countries
around the world for the production of latex (Teoh et al.,
2011). According to Shigematsu et al. (2011), more than
80% of total rubber plantation areas are in Asia, with Ma-
laysia, Indonesia and ailand covering almost 70% of
the rubber cultivation. Malaysia was the largest producer
of rubber in the world until the late of 1980’s (Balsiger et
al., 2000). Indonesia then took over as the biggest rubber
cultivator in the world followed by ailand. To date, Ma-
laysia remains the 3rd most important country in the world
in rubber plantations (Shigematsu et al., 2011).
However, in Malaysia the rubber plantation which
was cultivated by estate owners and smallholdings has
been decreasing from 1990 to 2009 (Tab. 1). e total
rubber plantation area in 1990 was 1836.7 hectares and
become 32.24% smaller in 2009 (Tab. 1). e plantation
areas from smallholders, namely Rubber Industry Small-
holder Development Authority (RISDA), Federal Land
Development Authority (FELDA) and Federal Land
Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (FELCRA)
still showed better performance in rubber cultivation, al-
though it has been declining every year. It can be noticed
from this table that very few estates owners maintained
their rubber cultivations. e key problem was mainly the
low prot, so the estate owners converted their plantations
to the more protable commodities particularly oil palm
plantations (Teoh et al., 2011).
Ratnasingam J. et al. / Not Bot Horti Agrobo, 2011, 39(2):305-311
Production of Rubberwood
Rubberwood emerged as an alternative source of tim-
ber for the wood industry, when restriction in logging ac-
tivities was implemented by the Malaysian government.
e commercial production of rubberwood in the wood
based industry, particularly sawn timber, furniture and
wood based panel began in the 1980s. In fact, the vast
potential of rubberwood in sawn timber and other wood
products application has been evaluated since 1950s. Per-
haps, the low durability of rubberwood and the abun-
dance of tropical logs available at low cost from the natural
forests hindered rubberwood from entering into the wood
industry. erefore, commendations should go to the For-
est Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) for their eorts
in evaluating the potential of rubberwood for the wood
industry (Hong, 1994).
Fig. 1 depicts the production of rubberwood logs based
on the replanting rate. e production of rubberwood
logs showed a downward trend from 1990 to 2009. e
matter that should be of concern is if the supply of rub-
berwood logs can meet the high demand from the wood
based industries particularly for industries that have been
utilizing rubberwood as the main raw material. Further,
the numbers of mills consuming rubberwood have been
increasing every year. is does not include the many un-
registered rubberwood plants in Malaysia.
e overall total export value (RM million) of rub-
berwood products which consist of sawntimber, mould-
To date, there have been debates about the consistent
supply of rubberwood to the booming wood industry in
Malaysia due to the declining rubber plantations. ere-
fore, in this paper, the rst section will focus on the sus-
tainability in rubberwood productions and the utilization
of rubberwood products. e following section will be on
the challenges of rubber plantations for continuous supply
of the logs to the wood industry, and the nal section of
the paper will highlight the rubberwood market percep-
tion and certication issues.
Tab. 1. Rubber Plantation Areas (Hectares)
Year Estates Small holdings Total (‘000 ha)
1990 348.7 1488.0 1836.7
1992 314.1 1478.2 1792.3
1994 275.0 1462.1 1737.1
1996 223.9 1420.4 1644.3
1998 179.9 1363.7 1543.6
2000 123.8 1306.9 1430.7
2001 95.5 1293.8 1389.3
2002 84.4 1264.0 1348.4
2003 78.5 1247.1 1325.6
2004 64.4 1214.4 1278.8
2005 58.7 1212.6 1271.3
2006 54.2 1209.4 1263.6
2007 52.7 1194.7 1247.4
2008 50.9 1196.1 1247.0
2009 48.5 1196.1 1244.6
Source: Department of Statistics (2010a)
Tab. 2. e export value of rubberwood sub-sectors (RM million)
Products 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Sawn timber 0.0 87.3 91.6 60.3 137.1 386.2 69.8 55.2 27.1 34.3
Furniture 3535.2 3022.9 3339.4 3735.8 4350.8 4665.3 5127.4 5331.9 5536.9 4998.6
Mouldings 313.2 224.3 228.8 208.1 646.5 698.1 796.3 915.3 744.1 686.4
MDF 823.0 873.3 866.8 978.6 1020.9 1106.7 1144.9 1180.9 1156.1 1033.4
Chipboard 160.0 134.0 115.7 102.2 195.8 266.7 266.9 364.9 391.7 250.1
Builders, Carpentry and Joinery 269.0 243.4 261.0 281.3 109.5 116.1 102.7 101.8 100.5 98.8
Wooden Frames - - - - 11.6 12.7 12.2 13.2 12.4 10.5
Total 5100.4 4585.2 4903.3 5366.3 6472.2 7251.8 7520.2 7963.2 7968.8 7112.1
cubic meter
panel industry
sawn timber
Fig. 1. e rubberwood log production based on replanting rate
Ratnasingam J. et al. / Not Bot Horti Agrobo, 2011, 39(2):305-311
ings, furniture, medium density breboard, chipboard,
builders, joinery and carpentry and wooden frames have
been steadily growing over the years except for 2009, when
there was slightly declining of RM 856.7 million (Tab. 2).
e high proportion of export of rubberwood products
was due to logging control on the natural forest, and rub-
berwood is still the most widespread type of forest planta-
tion in Malaysia (Shigematsu et al., 2011).
e production of rubberwood in the wood industry
began with sawn timber processing, mainly for export. In-
dia and Sri Lanka have a long history in using rubberwood
as timber sources, due to the scarcity of logs. e turning
point here was the fact that Malaysia was the rst country
to be successful in the export of rubberwood sawn tim-
ber in the late 1970s (Hong, 1994). e export of sawn
timber from Peninsular Malaysia was RM140,000 in 1979
and increased to RM98.7 million in 1989 (Hong and Sim,
1994). e export of rubberwood sawn timber declined
aer the imposition of export levy in June 1990, followed
by the export quota on sawn timber. e purpose was to
ensure adequate supply of rubberwood sawntimber in the
country, and also to encourage the upstream manufac-
turers to invest into the value added products industries
(Hong, 1995). e current export value of rubberwood
sawn timber from 2000-2009 was the lowest compared to
the other rubberwood products (Tab. 2).
e downward trend in the export of rubberwood
sawn timber marred the tremendous contribution in the
export value of rubberwood furniture (Tab. 2). It should
be emphasized that 80% of total export value of wooden
furniture to the world markets was from rubberwood fur-
niture (Fig. 2).
e success of rubberwood furniture in world market
is due to its good machining properties, acceptable dura-
bility, pleasant appearance and ease in nishing (Anony-
mous, 1993). In addition, the physical and mechanical
properties of rubberwood are almost comparable with the
other commercial timbers (Tab. 3) such as Dark Red Mer-
anti (Shorea platyclados), Sepetir (Sindora coriacea), Nya-
toh (Palaquium gutta) and Ramin (Gonystylus bancanus)
(Mohd Shukari, 1994; Balsiger et al., 2000).
In recent year, the furniture industry has been faced
with the scarcity of rubber logs. On the contrary, the
export value of rubberwood furniture was still increas-
ing throughout the year. A survey presented by the For-
est Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) explained that
furniture manufacturers have taken earlier steps to sustain
their productions due to the foreseen scarcity in rubber-
wood logs. Some manufacturers substituted rubberwood
to other timber with similar properties, namely Keruing,
Kapur, Meranti and Kempas. Meanwhile, some furni-
ture manufacturers opted to import rubberwood timber
mainly from ailand to secure their productions (Ahmad
Fauze et al., 2010).
Rubberwood was also suitable for medium density -
breboard (MDF) production due to its homogenous struc-
ture, dimensional stability and uniform textures, which
can be machined and routed to high quality, similar to
solid wood nishing and overlaying (Anonymous, 1998).
e acceptable properties of medium density breboard
have contributed to economic growth, as medium density
breboard (MDF) was the second largest in export value
aer rubberwood furniture (Tab. 2).
A study conducted by Mohd Shahwahid and Abdul
Rahim (2009) claimed that the production of medium
density breboard from rubberwood is large. ere were
high competition and price war on rubberwood raw mate-
rials among mills. e situation was worse when indepen-
dent suppliers or agents did not sign any long term con-
tracts for rubberwood supply, but they sold to the highest
bidder. As there is no assurance for sucient rubberwood
supply, MDF plants utilized mixed wood materials such as
40% Acacia, 20% mixed hardwood logs and slabs and 40%
rubber logs for productions, and still, it was not protable.
e cost of mixed hardwood logs is expensive and more
adhesive was needed for production, but the price of the
nal product was almost the same as rubberwood MDF.
e consequence from this situation brought some MDF
plants to intensify research and development activities
to seek alternative agricultural residues, such as oil palm
trunk, fronds and empty fruit bunch.
e rubberwood products of chipboard, mouldings,
builders, carpentry and joinery (BCJ) and wooden frames
have also been contributing to the country’s economy. e
Tab. 3. Comparative of physical and mechanical properties of
rubberwood with selected commercial timbers
Species Rubberwood Dark Red
Meranti Sepetir Nyatoh Ramin
content (%) 17.2 16.7 16.6 17.5 18.6
(kg/m3)640 610 690 675 675
hardness 4320 3650 5210 5430 4580
Shear parallel
to grain 11.0 8.7 13.6 11.0 8.5
Source: Ratnasingam and Scholz (2009)
Rubbe rwo o d
Fig. 2. e total export of rubberwood furniture and wooden
furniture. Source of total export wooden furniture: Malaysian
Timber Council (2011)
Ratnasingam J. et al. / Not Bot Horti Agrobo, 2011, 39(2):305-311
export value of these products, except builders, carpentry
and joinery (BCJ) to the major markets has been uctu-
ated from 2000 to 2009. Meanwhile, the export value of
builders, carpentry and joinery has been decreasing from
RM 269 million in 2000 to 63.27% in 2009 (Tab. 2). e
export of rubberwood wooden frames began in 2004. Al-
though the export value of these rubberwood products is
in a small scale, the scarcity of the logs shouldn’t be a hin-
drance in developing the new value-added industries.
Utilization of Rubberwood
e abundance of rubber trees in the country has
contributed to economic growth, due to the production
and export of latex. e rotation for rubberwood is 25-
30 years, as aer this age the latex production becomes
uneconomical. e trees which were considered waste,
were le in the eld and burnt away. Apart from that, the
felled trees were traditionally used as fuelwood in dry-
ing and smoking sheet-rubber, tobacco curing and brick
making industry (Balsiger et al., 2000). Rubberwood was
also used as charcoal in steel industry (Ratnasingam and
Scholz, 2009).
e utilization of rubberwood in the wood industry is
large. Rubberwood sawntimber and panel products basi-
cally were used in furniture industry. Medium density -
breboard as well as particleboard is extensively used in the
manufacture of end-use products, such as cabinets, mould-
ings, ooring, wall panelling, window frames and door
frames (Rajan, 2000). Cement bonded particleboard have
found applications in the construction sector, as it appear
to be highly durable, good insulating and resistant to re,
weather, insect and fungi (Anonymous, 1998). Rubber-
wood veneer for core parts is also produced (Anonymous,
1993), whilst the utilisation of rubberwood for face veneer
is only at a small extent due to its latex residues (Anony-
mous, 1998).
Rubberwood is used in the mouldings and joinery pro-
duction, such as parquet ooring, strip ooring, staircase
components and house-hold items. Small size and short
lengths of rubberwood residues are glued together, which
results in longer pieces, and better strength of joint (Rajan,
2000). Moreover, the branch and the stem of rubber trees
are also suitable for the production of writing and print-
ing paper (Anonymous, 1993). It is important to mention
here that rubberwood has other non-timber uses as well,
which is as a medium for mushroom growing (Anony-
mous, 1993) and for honey production (Ratnasingam and
Scholz, 2009).
Constraints in Rubber Plantations
It is really surprising that there are constraints in the
rubber plantations in Malaysia when the export of natu-
ral rubber, rubber-based products and rubber by-products
has been extremely remarkable throughout the years and
the demand for rubberwood products in the world market
have contributed to the economic growth.
e main concern that should be highlighted here is
the current total rubber plantation area. As mentioned
earlier, the total rubber plantation area in Malaysia has
declined throughout the years. Rubber planters, especially
the estate owners converted their land to more protable
crops, mainly oil palm. Further, the large plantation groups
in Malaysia, which consist of Guthrie, Golden Hope and
KL Kepong are slowly converting the land to oil palm.
e total plantation area of oil palm has been increasing
throughout the years (Fig. 3). e planters claimed less
prot in the rubber industry, due to low latex price in
world market (Ratnasingam, 2000).
e next point that should be examined is the steadily
declining of labour in the rubber plantations. e total
number of workers in rubber plantations in 2000 was
24,193, and showed reduction of 61.40% in 2009 (Fig.
4). e possibility of lesser labourers in rubber plantations
every year could be due to the low salaries, which brought
to poverty. Chang and Ong (2000) mentioned that a rub-
ber tapper needs to tap at least 30-40kg of latex in order
to earn RM 25-RM 30 per day. Further, the annual total
salary obtained by the estate worker declined by 34% from
2000 to 2009.
oil p alm
Fig. 3. Total Plantation Area (hectares) of Rubber and Oil Palm from 1990-2009. Source of Oil Palm Plantations:
Malaysian Palm Oil Board (2010)
Ratnasingam J. et al. / Not Bot Horti Agrobo, 2011, 39(2):305-311
kg, RM 2.87/kg and RM 2.85/kg for RSS 1, RSS 3 and
SMR 20 respectively (Fig. 5). e SMR 20 latex price has
shown an upward trend each year. e delay in the replant-
ing of rubber occurred as a consequence of the high price
of latex, although the yield was lower. e curb in felling
the rubber trees has resulted in the shortage of rubber-
wood logs supply to the wood industries (Mohd Shahwa-
hid and Abdul Rahim, 2009).
Market Perceptions
Although rubberwood products particularly rubber-
wood furniture is well known and established, the percep-
tion of this products in the market among the consumers is
not well explored yet. Generally, consumers have dierent
market perceptions on dierent wood species. A survey
carried out by Ratnasingam et al. (2007) to investigate the
market perceptions of rubberwood furniture among the
customers, found that rubberwood was not categorized
as a premier furniture making material, compared to the
other wood species used in furniture industry.
It appeared from this census that the success of rub-
berwood furniture in the market is its low price, as shown
e other reason for the decrease in the workforce in
the rubber plantations was the preferences for working
in a cleaner environment and the mismatch between the
education levels and job opportunities (Aziz and Yatimah,
e next factor that should be considered is the latex
prices. Most rubber planters shied to oil palm cultivation
when the latex price decreased in 1990s. In 2002, the an-
nual average of natural rubber price went up to RM 2.93/
Tab. 4. e Domestic Price of Light Hardwood Logs in
Peninsular Malaysia
Species Logs (RM per m3)
Dark red meranti 1200
Red meranti 1160
Yellow meranti 1150
White meranti 1080
Nyatoh 1180
Sepetir 900
Ramin 1750
Rubberwood 135
Source: Malaysian Timber Industry Board (2011)
RM '000
Fig. 4. Number of employees in rubber estate plantations and total salaries from 2000-2009. Source: De-
partment of Statistics (2010b)
SMR 20
Fig. 5. e annual average F.O.B price of natural rubber (Cent/Kg). Source: Department of Statistics
(2011). Note: Price for RSS 3 and RSS 1 have been stopped from 2003 and 2004 respectively. RSS-
Ribbed Smoked Sheets grade 1 and 3; SMR20-Standard Malaysian Rubber-medium grade produced
from eld coagulation but may contain some RSS
Ratnasingam J. et al. / Not Bot Horti Agrobo, 2011, 39(2):305-311
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(Anonymous, 2000).
However, rubberwood which is a by-product of rubber
plantations is known as environmental friendly. Rubber
is cultivated in plantations, and the wood is available in
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wood products are easily acceptable both for the local and
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Certication of Rubberwood
e certication of timber from natural forest is es-
sential to ensure the sustainable supply of forest resources,
preserve the nature and to enhance the economy. e two
international organizations which actively involved in the
certication process consist of Program for the Endorse-
ment of Forest Certication (PEFC) and Forest Stewards
Council (FSC). Malaysia has also established Malaysian
Timber Certication Council (MTCC) in 2001 to be in
charge of forest certication. Forest Management Certi-
cation (FMC) and Chain of Custody (CoC) certication
have also been managed by the MTCC (Attah et al., 2009;
Azharizan et al., 2011).
e awareness of certication of logs from forest plan-
tations, such as rubberwood, among the wood products
manufacturers is limited. A survey carried out by Ratnas-
ingam et al. (2008) showed that there is a lack of under-
standing in the application of CoC in rubberwood plan-
tations. e manufacturers presumed certication is only
required for timber from natural forest. Further, manu-
facturers assumed that certication of rubberwood are no
longer important, aer the adoption of ISO 9001 quality
Rubberwood, a sustainable resource has been one of the
driving forces for the success of the wood industry in Ma-
laysia. e easy availability of rubberwood logs has been
an advantage to the wood industry, particularly aer the
restriction of logging in the natural forest was enforced.
However, in recent years, issues regarding the scarcity of
rubberwood supply have been a growing concern due to
the declining rubber plantation area. Further, the conver-
sion of rubber areas to oil palm plantations is also adding
further pressure to the supply of the material in the future.
Although rubberwood is regarded a green, renewable
wood material, the lack of certication and its apparent
lower value in the market may emerge as major constraints
to the sustainable supply of rubberwood in the future.
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perspective. World Resource Institute.
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... Rubber trees are of strategic importance because they are the only commercially viable source of natural rubber (latex) globally [16]. Rubber is a native of Brazil in South America, and the tree can grow up to 40 m height and trunk diameter of about 0.8 m, if undisturbed and the soil is fertile [14,17]. The Food Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated that about 12 million hectares (ha) is cultivated with rubber worldwide, mostly in the tropical regions of Asia and Africa, where they had been introduced as exotic species, but are now naturalized [18,19,20]. ...
... The trunk of Rubber trees are generally straight and free of branches up to about 15 m above the ground level, if planted at a close spacing of 4 m x 4 m [17]. Rubberwood has a dense grain character that is easily controlled in kiln drying processes [15]. ...
... Rubberwood is presently extensively seasoned and utilized as furniture wood in Asia [25], some of its documented properties at 17. These values indicate fairly good material qualities for rubberwood as a structural material, and categorize it as a medium-dense timber [17,22,23] Rubberwood in Nigeria is of interest with regards to its present utility in the Nigerian construction industry, which is without reference to any form of characterization of its structural properties and the environment in which it is derived and employed. Despite the promising prospects of rubberwood in the construction industry, very little research work has been done on the grading and suitability of Nigeria rubberwood. ...
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Rubberwood, hitherto solely employed as fuel wood has found fairly suitable use in the Nigerian construction industry. This paper investigated the engineering properties of this low cost, alternative, timber material, produced from Rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis); often employed within two weeks of felling, for the construction of formworks and related wood works. No real attempt has been made to formally grade or coordinate the properties of rubber wood as employed in the Nigerian construction industry. The research was aimed to achieve the determination of the physical and mechanical properties of naturally seasoned rubber wood obtained from the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, and assigned to it a strength/grade class. Specific properties required for grading were determined using suitable standard methods. The structural and mechanical properties of the timber wood were determined using the three point bending test in accordance with standards presented by BS EN 408 and ASTM D193, but with an aspect ratio of 12. Original Research Article Akpokodje et al.; JERR, 19(3): 28-47, 2020; Article no.JERR.59676 29 Characteristic values for the wood properties (at the tested moisture content "MC") were determined in accordance with BS EN 384. Adjustments were made to the characteristic values for the mechanical properties, and the density of the timber species at the test MC; to conform with the international reference MC condition of 12% (as specified by BS EN 338), and also 18% MC, to suit standards required for the Nigerian environmental condition (NCP 2). Grading was carried out in accordance with BS EN 338. The characteristic values for the mechanical properties (at 12% and 18% MC) evaluated from test results are as follows; characteristic values for MOR and MOE were 20.191 N/mm 2 and 19.283 N/mm 2 , and 2285.784 N/mm 2 and 2195.606 N/mm 2 respectively. Mean values for densities (at 12% and 18% MC) were 406.169 Kg/m 3 and 431.058 Kg/m 3 , while the characteristic values for the related densities were 338.474 Kg/m 3 and 359.215 Kg/m 3. Furthermore, the mean green density and characteristic green density for the rubberwood were 988.148 Kg/m 3 and 900.352 Kg/m 3 respectively. From the results obtained, rubberwood procured from the Niger Delta region was categorized as a grade D30 and D35 timber material at 18% MC and 12% MC respectively. Rubberwood from the Niger Delta can be conveniently employed as an alternative material to conventional timber, in both the furniture and the construction industry, but with special considerations. A Cross-sectional area; perpendicular to the direction of the grain af Distance between inner load points = 6h Adjustment/correction factors for 1% change in moisture content related to an equivalent percentage change in the required parameter or strength value b Breadth of the cross-section perpendicular grain/breath of loaded area width of the specimen CoV Coefficient of Variation d Depth of the cross-section perpendicular to grain E Young's Modulus/Modulus of Elasticity (MOE) = Moment of elasticity (MOE) in bending = Mean value of MOE in bending , Mean modulus of elasticity parallel to grain. ,. Characteristic 5th percentile modulus of elasticity parallel to grain , Characteristic mean modulus of elasticity perpendicular to grain i th value of MOE for the i th specimen. = Characteristic value of MOE in bending at test (measured) moisture content (MC) Characteristic value of MOE, also referred to as the Mean value of MOE in bending at test MC measured in N/mm 2. , , %
... Hevea brasiliensis also known as rubber belongs to the plant family Euphorbiaceae and is cultivated for commercial latex harvesting over twenty countries in the world (Ratnasingam, et al., 2011). Currently, 137 000ha of land is under rubber cultivation in Sri Lanka (Anon, 2017). ...
... The color can be turned to light brown/light straw by weathering (Ratnasingam and Scholz, 2009). Furthermore, good machining properties, ease in finishing and acceptable durability have made rubber wood a good substitute for the conventional timber (Ratnasingam et al., 2011). At present, the contribution of rubber to the national timber supply is around 17% in Sri Lanka (Ruwanpathirana, 2016). ...
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Annually natural forest cover in Sri Lanka is being depleted leading to a scarcity in forest timber resources and this has increased the importance of rubber wood as a substitute to forest timber sources. Being an agricultural by-product which is mass-produced, rubber timber serves as a potential to forest timber with proper treatments to increase the durability. Its favorable color, good machining properties and cost effectiveness are also in favour of promoting rubber wood as an alternative timber source. Physical and biochemical properties vary among the timber species and it can be used in order to predict the behavior of specific timber. This study summarizes some major physical and biochemical properties of rubber wood with relation to jack wood. Rubber wood samples were obtained from a 25-30 year aged field of RRIC 121 rubber clone and jack wood samples were taken from sawn timber. They were subjected to analysis of different biochemical constituent viz. total extractives, lignin, holocellulose, α cellulose, and hemicellulose contents that reflect the quality of wood. Physical properties such as moisture content, density and specific gravity were also tested in green wood of RRIC 121 clone. The findings revealed that RRIC 121 clone and jack wood have 12.67% and 18.11% total extractives, 23.20% and 41.80% lignin content, 96.73% and 92.52% holocellulose content, 67.20% and 74.77% α cellulose content, and 27.23% and 17.76% hemicellulose content respectively. Except lignin content, all other biochemical constituents of RRIC 121 rubber wood were comparable with that of jack wood. Though the lignin content of rubber wood is within the range of hard woods, it is significantly lower than that of jack wood. Density value of RRIC 121 showed that it falls in to the category of medium density wood. Thus, the potential of using rubber wood as a substitute to forest timber is promising.
... Traditionally, the rubber industry is mainly focused on latex production. After the rubber tree is no longer productive, then the tree will be felled down, and it will be used for firewood and charcoal (Ratnasingam et al. 2011). Rubber trees can be harvested after 25 to 30 years. ...
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Rubberwood has emerged as one of the most important sources of wood raw material in Malaysia. This study aimed to evaluate the physical and mechanical properties of two rubberwood clones, namely GT1 and RRIM 600. Thirty-three year old RRIM 600 and GT1 clones were cut and tested according to the British Standards 373 (1957). Most of the physical properties among the clones were significantly different except for basic specific gravity and shrinkage on tangential and longitudinal directions. In mechanical properties evaluation, only compression perpendicular to grain was significantly different. Meanwhile, comparison parallel to the grain, modulus of rupture and modulus of elasticity were not significantly different among portions. This finding provides a good indicator that there is no requirement to segregate the portions before wood machining. In conclusion, these rubberwood clones can be used for small and secondary structures, lightweight construction, and the furniture industry.
... The commercial success of rubberwood as a raw material at international scale is due to the continuous efforts of industrial players who championed the use of rubberwood for furniture products exported to the United States since 1979 (Ratnasingam and Scholz 2009). Rubberwood furniture makes up 80% of the total furniture exports from Malaysia (Ratnasingam et al. 2011). The success of rubber utilization in Malaysia is due to this partnership between public and private actors and could be reproduced in other countries (Ratnasingam et al. 2012). ...
Technical Report
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Land use is a central issue for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Plantations of all major tropical commodities are expanding quickly. This creates opportunities for development. It also raises concerns about the impacts of these plantations on the environment, landscapes and livelihoods. Natural rubber is a particularly interesting example to consider in the perspective of sustainable development of a commodity’s producing countries and value chains. This paper is a collaboration between the Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) research program of the CGIAR (FTA n.d.) and the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) (IRSG n.d.). FTA works across a range of plantations, value chains and tree crop commodities, from timber, palm oil, cacao, coffee and tea to bamboo, rattan and rubber, among others.
... In addition, it is beautiful and uniform color (white to pale yellow tint), good machining properties, acceptable durability, pleasant appearance and ease in finishing. Furthermore, the physical and mechanical properties of rubberwood are almost comparable with the other commercial timber density 640 kg/m 3 and side hardness 4320 such as Dark Red Meranti (Shorea platyclados), Sepetir, Nyatoh and Ramin [2]. Although rubberwood is a material with many advantages for residential and nonresidential construction, there are still treasures the disadvantages. ...
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The objective of this research was to investigate the effect of ammonium sulphate (AS) contents having concentration of 0-30 % wt impregnated on rubberwood. For this purpose, thermal degradation mechanism of samples was characterized by thermogravimetric analysis under air whereas the flammability test was applied using limiting oxygen index (LOI) and, reachability was carried out according to JIS K 1571. From TGA/DTG, the impregnation of rubberwood with AS was able to shift the decomposition temperature to the lower side temperature (215 ⁰C) and reduced the degradation rate from 11.48 to 5.45 % ºC-1 , and the decomposition range of modified wood was wider than unmodified wood. The concentration levels of AS fire-retardant agent affect to change the degradation reaction of wood as a positive effect in term of a high residual weight, a low weight loss, a low initial temperature. The weight residue at 600 ⁰C are found to increase from 0.82 to 3.23 %. Especially, The LOI values of all impregnated samples with AS are classified as self-extinguishing rubberwood, and LOI increased from 26 to 42. This is indicated that the AS impregnation improves the fire retardant property of rubberwood. In addition, the leaching of AS from samples was in range 3-4 % indicated that the good fixation of AS in wood structure. Consequently, rubberwood impregnated with AS can be used as a material where fire retardancy is required.
... Podo Sempilor [8] Traditionally replacement of defective components will be made on the same timber species unless the homeowner cannot obtain the same species due to financial factors or limitations of the existing species. Defective components are closely related to the state of the wood species used. ...
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The timber or wooden base is a significant material in traditional Malay houses from structure to architecture craftsmanship of the buildings. Due to the material natural condition, the problem perceives to be very mainly dealing with the joint wood base treat, namely rot, decay, and defective material. The study's purpose is to identify existing defects facing by the traditional house via the house component, namely roof system, ceiling, wall, beam, column, floorboards, balustrade, and stairs. Visual impact assessment (VIA) method used to identifies defect areas followed by natural infrared heat radiation tests to the defective area. The preliminaries finding indicates the timber species, namely Intsia palembanica Miq or well known in the local community as a 'Merbau,' with a low surface temperature range in 25.1°C at minimum census compare to surrounding census at 31.2°C. The huge gap in surface calibration leads to consistent treat in dampness activity causes rot and decay in timber material in the houses.
... Blue stain fungi, ambrosia beetles, and powder-post beetles are among the fungi and insects that invade rubberwood and render it non-usable (Browne 1961, Hong et al. 1980, Norhara 1981. Owing to this, rubberwood is mainly used interiorly such as furniture where its light colour and good appearance are certainly adding value to the designated application (Ratnasingam et al. 2011). In order to enhance the biological durability of rubberwood, preservative treatment must be carried out. ...
Durability of phenolic-resin-treated sesenduk (Endospermum diadenum) and jelutong (Dyera costulata) wood against white rot fungus. Our Malaysian Rubberwood is a most popular commercial timber for furniture exports, however, it is susceptible to white rot fungi attack and should be effectively treated with preservatives to prolong its service life. Phenolic resin could improve resistance against fungi (Ashaari & Lee, 2015) and enhance the mechanical strength and dimensional stability (Anwar et al., 2011), but it is leachable compared to nano zinc oxide. Meanwhile nano ZnO gave higher chemical absorption into wood and could inhibit fungi attack (Clausen and Yang, 2009). Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the durability of rubberwood against white rot Pycnoporus sanguineus after impregnation using low molecular phenol formaldehyde (LmPF) incorporate with nano ZnO. Ø All rubberwood samples were treated using three types of mixture as follows: 1) water+nano ZnO, 2) LmPF+nano ZnO, and 3) LmPF Ø Samples submerged in the mixture using a vacuum chamber for 60, 90 and 120 min Ø Treated samples were dried for few hours. u Decay resistance Ø A 25 x 25 x 9 mm test block of Rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis) were prepared. Ø Durability tested according to ASTM D 2017-05 Standard Test Method of Accelerated Laboratory Test of Natural Decay Resistance of Woods. Ø Determination of weight loss (%) ; WL (%) = Ø Visual inspection after 8 weeks of exposure to P. sanguineus. Ø Untreated Rubberwood is classified as moderately resistant (Class 3) to wood-decaying fungi attack. This is d u e t o f a c t o r s s u c h a s h i g h carbohydrate and starch content. Ø LmPF treatment and LmPF + Nano Z n O a t 6 0 m i n s s u b m e r g e t i m e inhibited white rot attack with 0.29% and 0.26% weight loss, respectively. Ø LmPF and LMPF + Nano ZnO treatments showed the best treatment in improving the rubberwood durability from Class 3 to Class 1 (very resistant). ØThe main reason for significant improvement of LmPF + Nano ZnO might be due to the properties of LmPF that interacted with Nano ZnO and enhance chemical absorption. ØLmPF have 3 dimensional network that is difficult to degrade and thus lessen the degradation activity of fungi due to successful penetration into wood cells. ØFurther study should be conducted on the dimensional stability and mechanical properties to obtain comprehensive result on the LmPF + Nano ZnO treatment.
... Besides, during that time, the rubberwood considered as abundant resources from rubber estate that commercially planted in huge area throughout the country. On that note, it's the best candidate to become source for wood -based industry [6]. Intensive researches on the results of research findings were disseminated through publications, seminar and workshops [7]. ...
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This work focus on the effects of SRF (Slow Release Fertilizer) + NPK fertilizer rates on the properties of rubberwood particleboards produced. The particleboards were fabricated using rubber tree trial clone RRIM 2002. RRIM 2002 clone still in trial plot with age of 4-year old and classified as Latex Timber Clone which estimated to produce large wood volume and also better latex yield. The properties of particleboard were categorized and evaluated based on fertilizer treatment applied on RRIM 2002 clone tree: T1 (SRF + NPK at normal rate), T2 (SRF + 1.5 x NPK at normal rate), T3 (SRF + 2.0 x NPK at normal rate) and T4 (SRF + 2.5 x NPK at normal rate, control (NPK at normal rate). The resin used for particleboard fabrication was urea formaldehyde (UF) (63.9% solid) type E1. The resin content is 10%. The thickness of board is 10 mm with density 700 kgm-3. The particleboards were fabricated and assessed in accordance to Japanese Industrial Standard for Particleboard (JIS A 5908-2003). The properties that been assessed were on modulus of elasticity (MOE), modulus of rupture (MOR), internal bonding (IB), thickness swelling (TS) and water absorption (WA). From this study, it is found that fertilizer treatment influences the particle recovery and performance of particleboard especially on dimensional stability and internal bonding properties which significantly affected. The MOR and MOE of particleboard made from rubber trees that treated with SRF-NPK fertilizer showed better performance compared to that of with NPK fertilizer alone (control), however, the differences were not significant. In term of IB, no specific trend was observed. Lastly, for dimensional stability (TS and WA), particleboard produced from SRF-NPK fertilizer reduced the board stability when subjected to cold water soak.
Phytophthora palmivora is a destructive plant pathogenic oomycete that has caused lethal diseases in a wide range of hosts. It is a pan-tropical distributed pathogen that can infect plants at all growth stages. Extensive studies have linked P. palmivora to severe diseases in several crops, such as black pepper, rubber, cocoa, and durian, causing global economic losses. This review covers the following topics in depth: (i) P. palmivora as phytopathogen; (ii) identification and infection mechanism in rubber, cocoa, and durian; and (iii) management and control applied for P. palmivora diseases. Effective management strategies were studied and practiced to prevent the spread of P. palmivora disease. Genetic resistance and biocontrol are the best methods to control the disease. A better understanding of P. palmivora infection mechanisms in our main crops and early disease detection can reduce the risk of catastrophic pandemics.
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Will the Malaysian furniture industry wither amidst the decreasing local supply of rubberwood timber? Despite declining supply of local rubberwood timber, the wooden furniture industry has been able to sustain its production and trade. This means that the wooden furniture industry does not wither even though there is local shortage of rubberwood timber supply. The wooden furniture industry has adapted to the situation of declining rubberwood supply in various ways. First, lesser rubberwood timber is used. The consumption of rubberwood logs by sawmills in Peninsular Malaysia in 2001 was 489,378 cubic meter. It has declined to 91,605 cubic meters in 2008.
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Rubber trees were introduced into the Malay Peninsula more than a century ago. The normal economical lifespan of a rubber tree is about 25 years, and, traditionally, rubberwood was used as firewood by the rural community. In recent decades, rubberwood has become an important timber for wood products, particularly in the furniture manufacturing sector, due to its attractive features, cream color, and good working properties. Sapstain, mold, and wooddecaying fungi are serious threats to rubberwood. Conventional chemical control has been a successful method of preventing staining fungal growth, but the effects of these chemicals are of concern because they create problems for the environment and public health. Thus, biological control has been recognized as an alternative approach to the problem. This article reviews the properties, potential utilization, and problems of protecting rubberwood against sapstain, mold, and wood-decaying fungi, and discusses the treatment methods available. Advances in biological control, particularly biofungicides, are emphasized as an alternative method for rubberwood treatment. Key wordsRubberwood–Molds–Preservation
SUMMARY This paper looks at how the Voluntary Partnership Agreement is working by using the Ghanaian and Malaysian experiences on this process. The difference in the forest management system in both Ghana and Malaysia, in itself poses some challenges to the implementation of the VPA. Further, the multi-stake holder approach used in Ghana, and the inter-governmental approach used in Malaysia presents different scenarios that may influence the implementation of the VPA. It is important to realize that measures that properly address circumvention and illegal imports from non-partner countries are of crucial importance for Voluntary Partnership Agreements (VPAs) to be a success. Therefore, the only way for Ghana and Malaysia to see VPA as a success is to be assisted in every way to build capacity among the law enforcement agencies.
Malasia, importante productor y exportador de productos de madera, se ha mostrado reacio a adoptar la certificatión de productos madereros. Se realizó un estudio con el objetivo de evaluar la situatión actual de la certificatión de Cadena de Custodia entre los fabricantes de muebles de madera. Las empresas que participaron en la Feria Internacional del Mueble de Malasia (MIFF 2007) fueron entrevistadas mediante un cuestionario estructurado, y los resultados demuestran que pocos fabricantes están dispuestos a adoptar la certificatión de Cadena de Custodia. Entre los motivos principales que disuaden a los fabricantes de muebles están la dificultad de lograr precios más elevados para productos certificados, una potencial de mercado limitado, y altos costes. Además, se notó una falta de concientización entre muchos encuestados, que creyeron que la madera procedente de plantaciones, como el hule (Hevea brasiliensis Müll. Arg.), se puede considerar como madera certificada. Por eso este estudio concluye que el fomento de la certificatián de Cadena de Custodia en Malasia debe centrarse en la sensibilización, además de resaltar los beneficios tangibles e intangibles de la certificatión.
In this study, the kiln drying yield of 30mm Rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis) used for the furniture manufacturing industry in South East Asia was evaluated. The results showed that the average yield loss was 10%, and end-checks, splits and warping were the most common drying defects. It was found that sawn timber from older trees (> 21 years) were less prone to drying defects, and the use of stress relieving treatments significantly reduced the incidence of drying defects.
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. KeywordsForest plantation–Rubberwood–Governmental support–Rubber plantation management
The objective of this study was to evaluate the consumer perceptions towards rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis) as apremier furniture material. The data for this study were collected from aquestionnaire survey completed by 250 buyers who attended the international furniture fairs in Malaysia. Correlation analysis showed that the success factors of rubberwood as afurniture stock in comparison to other furniture wood species are its lower cost, availability, environmental friendliness and easy workability.
Although Malaysia is a major producer and exporter of wood products in the world, the status of wood products certification in the industry is relatively unknown. Therefore, a study was carried out to assess the status of chain of custody certification among wooden furniture manufacturers using a structured questionnaire to interview firms who had participated at the annual Malaysian International Furniture Fair (MIFF). Results collated indicate that the readiness to adopt chain of custody certification among wooden furniture manufacturers was low. The lack of price premiums, limited market potential and high cost was cited as the primary reasons deterring furniture manufacturers from adopting chain of custody certification. Furthermore, the use of plantation wood resources, such as Rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis), perceived to be certified wood resources, reflects the lack of understanding among the manufacturers. This study shows that an increasing adoption of chain of custody certification among wooden furniture manufacturers in Malaysia can be realized in the market organisation, especially with regards to price premiums and market requirements.