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Japan Wood Products Prices

16-31th August 2010

Japan Wood Products Prices

Dollar Exchange Rates of  26th Aug 2010

Japan Yen 84.41

Reports From Japan


 Tight log supply impacts Japanese market
According to Japan Lumber Reports (JLR), some log shipments from Sarawak and Sabah to Japan have been cancelled due to log shortages.

The Sarawak state’s policy to promote sustainable forest management has greatly reduced log supply. Much of the logging is now carried out in the Northern part of the state and thus has resulted in delays in log transport to the ports. In addition, robust demand from India and China at good prices is a reason for the decreased availability of logs for the Japanese market. JLR says that even some local plywood mills in Sarawak have been forced to shut down due to log shortages.

In the period up to mid August, Sarawak meranti regular log export prices remain unchanged from July at US$210 per cu.m FOB and small meranti prices at US$185 per cu.m FOB. The demand for Sarawak kapur logs is bullish export prices fetching US$290-300 per cu.m FOB.

Log export prices in Sabah for kapur and white serayah logs are at US$270 and US$230 per cu.m FOB respectively, unchanged from July. Sabah keruing log prices climbed to US$245-250 per cu.m FOB due to robust demand from Chinese companies.

In Japan, despite the appreciation of the Yen against the US dollar, CIF prices were up at Yen 7,400-7,500 per koku for Sarawak meranti regular logs and at Yen 6,600-6,700 per koku for small meranti logs.

As a result of low supply, tropical hardwood log inventories are down in Japan. Even with the much reduced Japanese demand for tropical hardwood plywood, Japanese mills report continued shortage of logs. As log inventories in Japan are declining, trade and price negotiations between importers and plywood manufacturers are quickly concluded, reports JLR.

Plywood imports rose in first half of 2010
The total plywood supply in the first half of 2010 was 2,856,200 cu.m in Japan, up 18% from the same period last year. Plywood imports climbed 15% from the same period last year to 1,555,800 cu.m.

In the first half of 2010, plywood imports from Malaysia rose by 8.3% compared to the same period last year while imports from Indonesia showed no increase.

Plywood prices ease despite log shortages
The JLR reports that tropical plywood suppliers continue to set higher prices due to log shortages. However, strong resistance from Japanese buyers for any price increases has driven imported plywood prices slightly down.

Prices for imported 3x6 concrete formboard are now between Yen 910-930 per sheet delivered. Prices for 3x6 coated concrete formboard are at Yen 1,080 per sheet and for 2x6 at Yen 820-830 per sheet.

Housing starts remain flat
Total housing starts in Japan during June were 68,688 units, 0.6% more than in the same month a year earlier. The overall situation remains subdued, as the seasonally adjusted housing starts improved only 1.8% from the drop recorded in May.

The monthly housing starts reached the bottom in August 2009 and have been improving since. However, the total of 381,653 units recorded in the first half of 2010 was the lowest ever for the first half period, reports JLR.

Sumitomo Forestry introduces wood procurement action plan
Sumitomo Forestry Co., Ltd. introduced wood procurement action plan for 2010-2011, says JLR.

The company has adopted wood procurement guidelines since 2007. According to the revised plan, the company will increase sourcing of certified wood from tropical forests, plantations and domestic forests in the next few years.

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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