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Japan Wood Products Prices

16-31th July 2010

Japan Wood Products Prices

Dollar Exchange Rates of  28th July 2010

Japan Yen 87.46

Reports From Japan


 Drop in plywood imports
The total plywood supply in Japan during May was
480,545, up 28% from May 2009 but 9% less than
recorded in April 2010. May plywood imports declined
11.8% from previous month to 266,300 cu.m. From the
beginning of the year, plywood imports from Malaysia and
Indonesia are at the same level compared to last year while
imports from China are 71% more.

Log shortages in the producing countries and the resultant
increase in plywood prices are the main factors for low
tropical plywood supply and the market in Japan is not
ready to accept the increased prices. The Japan Lumber
Reports (JLR) forecasts further declines in plywood
imports in coming months.

Market for imported plywood remains subdued
The JLR is reporting that demand for imported plywood
remains subdued despite low inventories. Topical plywood
prices experienced some increases in all categories during
the period under review.

The average market price for imported 3x6 concrete
formboard is now Yen 925 per sheet delivered. Prices for 3x6
coated concrete formboard are at Yen 1,080-1,120 per sheet
and for 2x6 at Yen 830-950 per sheet.

New housing certification scheme
JLR reports that a new housing certification scheme, Life
Cycle Carbon Minus house (LCCM), will start operating
next year. LCCM has been initiated by the Japanese
Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and it is
planned to assess a buildings’ life cycle greenhouse gas
emissions from construction to demolition.

The main challenge for the life cycle scheme is to assess
emissions from building material manufacturing. To
address this, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and
Transport is developing a valuation tool and database. For
example, wood will be valuated depending on its origin
and for this purpose domestic production and processing
sites will be investigated to update the database with
average emissions for various origins.

As the valuation tool is under development, the question
remains, how the scheme will consider imported timber

Ten years of forest certification
Forest certification in Japan started back in 2000 when
Hayami Ringyo acquired FSC (Forest Stewardship
Council) certification as the first Japanese timber
company. Since then, the SGEC (Sustainable Green
Ecosystem Council) was established to meet the
requirements of Japanese forestry. In 1999, the PEFC
(Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification)
Europe began and has grown to be the world's largest
forest certification system. These are the three forest
certification schemes operating in Japan.

Up until 2004, the pace of industry acquisition of
certification was fast as increasing demand for certified
products was foreseen. However, demand for certified
products did not pick up as expected and the price
premium for certified goods was too small to cover the
expenses of certification.

In 2009 the rate of acquisition of certification increased. In
many cases traders and floor manufacturers are obtaining
both FSC and PEFC together with Chain of Custody
of SGEC. This means that these companies can take
advantage of demand for any kind of certification system
in the market. However, the various certification systems
in use in the market confuse consumers who are requesting
a single system, says the JLR.

Related News:



LM        Loyale Merchant, a grade of log parcel  Cu.m         Cubic Metre
QS         Qualite Superieure    Koku         0.278 Cu.m or 120BF
CI          Choix Industriel                                                       FFR            French Franc
CE         Choix Economique                                                        SQ              Sawmill Quality
CS         Choix Supplimentaire      SSQ            Select Sawmill Quality
FOB      Free-on-Board     FAS            Sawnwood Grade First and
KD        Kiln Dry                               Second 
AD        Air Dry        WBP           Water and Boil Proof
Boule    A Log Sawn Through and Through MR              Moisture Resistant
              the boards from one log are bundled                      pc         per piece      
              together                      ea                each      
BB/CC  Plywood 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          
              Plywood   MDF           Medium Density Fibreboard
BF         Board Foot F.CFA         CFA Franc        
Sq.Ft     Square Foot  PHND             Pin hole no defect grade
Hoppus ton     1.8 cubic metres              Price has moved up or down

Source: ITTO'  Tropical Timber Market Report

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