Japan Wood Products
Dollar Exchange Rates of
29th June 2010
Japan Yen 89.40
Reports From Japan
Imports of verified legal and certified wood on the rise
According to import statistics by the Japan Lumber Importers’ Association (JLIA), the volume of imported wood products from certified and legal sources in 2009 amounted to 2.71 million cu.m, up 4.7 % from last year. The amount represents 36% of the total wood product imports. The JLIA survey considered logs, sawnwood, plywood, boards and laminated products.
Some 82% of Japan’s plywood imports are from certified and legal sources. Plywood products from Malaysia and Indonesia are 80% certified, according to JLIA.
For sawnwood imports, only 2% are recorded as certified. The majority of imported sawnwood is from North America and Europe. While these products are from a certified origin, importers and/or wholesalers do not keep records on products from these sources, as certificates on tropical timber products are more significant from the consumer perspective.
Wood products from verified legal sources will be promoted in public buildings as prescribed in a public procurement bill on wood use in public buildings in Japan. This initiative among others will increase demand for verified legal and certified wood products in the future, reports the Japan Lumber Report (JLR).
More certified building materials for Japanese market
Japanese building material wholesaler, Jutec Corporation, intends to increase certified product supplies, according to JLR. Jutec acknowledges that certified products in Japan have yet to gain market advantage over non-certified products but the company expects to gain a positive image as a dealer of eco-friendly materials.
In 2009, Jutec sold 8,000 cu.m of certified wooden building materials. Hardwood plywood imports from Indonesia with FSC certificate amounted to 6,400 cu.m, while imports of radiata pine panels and Oriented Strand Boards certified under the PEFC scheme were 1,600 cu.m.
The JLR reports that Jutec is aiming to sell 13,000 cu.m of certified wooden building materials this year, up 60% from last year. Some 10,000 cu.m of hardwood plywood from Indonesia is targeted to be sold in the Japanese market in 2010. The future challenge for the company is to secure sources of certified products.
Forest Policy on expanding domestic wood consumption
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan has held a second meeting on the revitalisation of the timber sector including a revision of Japan’s Forest Policy.
The discussions on the new policy are centred on the multifunctional benefits from forests. The thinking is that the new policy will encourage commercial logging using efficient technologies and involving larger harvest areas than at present and encouragement of replanting after
harvesting. Investments are planned keeping in forest road building and the creation of an effective and profitable supply chain from the forest to the mills. All policy measures are aiming at increasing utilisation of domestic forest resources.
Panasonic’s green procurement guidelines for wood
PanaHome Corporation and Panasonic Electric Works Co. Ltd have introduced green procurement guidelines for wood to increase the share of eco-friendly wood in their wood consumption. The procurement guidelines were prepared in consultation with WWF Japan, reports JLR.
According to the guidelines, wood products are classified into three groups. The first group comprises FSC certified and recovered (recycled) wood products. The second group covers wood products certified under other certification schemes. All other wood products for which legality cannot be confirmed fall into the third group.
Panasonic Group’s wood consumption totalled 440,000 cu.m in 2009. Wood consumption under the first group was 47% of the total, while second group accounted for 51% of consumption and third group 2%. The target for 2011 is to procure wood products only from FSC certified sources and from recovered wood (first group).
Plywood prices firming
The JLR is reporting that prices for imported concrete formboard are firming. Byers in Japan are now well aware of shortage of South Sea logs in the market. However, the unavoidable price increases are difficult to be passed on to endusers until inventory levels are seen to fall.
The market price for imported 3x6 concrete formboard is Yen 900 per sheet but importers are proposing a price of Yen 930 per sheet. 2.5 mm thin plywood prices are Yen 320-330 per sheet and for 4 mm thin plywood around Yen 420-500 per sheet.
|LM Loyale Merchant, a grade of log parcel
|QS Qualite Superieure
||Koku 0.278 Cu.m or 120BF
|CI Choix Industriel
|CS Choix Supplimentaire
Select Sawmill Quality
||FAS Sawnwood Grade First and
|KD Kiln Dry
|AD Air Dry
||WBP Water and Boil Proof
|Boule A Log Sawn Through and Through
the boards from one log are bundled
|| pc per piece
grades. Letter(s) on the left indicate face veneer(s), those on the right backing
veneer(s). Veneer grade decreases in order B, BB, C, CC, etc.
||MBF 1000 Board Feet
|BF Board Foot
Pin hole no defect grade
|Hoppus ton 1.8 cubic metres
|| Price has moved up or down