Testing the mettle of tropical timber


A log loader moves a meranti log to be debarked before peeling
for plywood veneer. Photo: Y. Massijaya

Tropical timber is locked in a battle for market share with substitute products such as non-tropical woods, metals such as aluminium, and plastics. Tropical timber has many fine features—such as durability, aesthetic appeal, and strength—but its competitors also have saleable qualities.