Weather in Sarawak, Malaysia was unstable all through the year so log production was slow. Then the government of Sarawak reduced quota of log export, which resulted in considerable drop of export volume.
Log production was smooth in Sabah with favourable weather so that both Japan and India increased purchase in Sabah to make up for log shortage in Sarawak. Japan failed to buy enough logs pushed by aggressive purchase by India. Also log prices stayed up high, which discouraged purchase by Japan.
There are only few plants consuming South Sea logs steadily but the mills have been having hard time to pass higher cost onto sales prices particularly when the yen got weaker.
Import of South Sea lumber in 2016 was 494,872 cubic metres, 2.6 percent less than 2015. In this, lumber was 225,864 cubic metres, 4.2 percent less and free board was 269,018 cubic metres, 1.3 percent less.
In Sarawak, since January this year, log harvest quota changed from yearly to monthly so if log harvest volume is more than regulated quota, logs are not allowed to haul out and not allowed to carry over to next month so log suppliers produce only 90 percent of quota. This reduces available volume inevitably.