Japan Wood Products
Dollar Exchange Rates of
29th Sep 2010
Japan Yen 83.65
Reports From Japan
July plywood imports jumped
According to the Japan Lumber Reports (JLR), plywood
consumption in Japan during July was 533,100 cu.m, up
19% from July 2009 and 2.9% more than recorded in June
2010. July plywood imports amounted to 303,400 cu.m,
gaining 22% from July last year and 9.3% from June 2010.
Japanese wholesalers say that imports over 300,000 cu.m,
under the current market situation, are pushing down
prices. However, imports are expected to decrease due to
log shortages in the producing countries.
July plywood imports from Malaysia surged 29% over
July last year. From the beginning of the year, Malaysia
exported 11% more plywood to Japan compared to the
same period last year while Japan’s plywood imports from
Indonesia have remained stable.
Due to relatively high inventories and current weak
demand imported plywood prices were down. The average
market price for imported 3x6 concrete formboard is now
Yen 890-920 per sheet delivered, which is Yen 10-20 per
sheet less than in August. Prices for 3x6 coated concrete
formboard are now at Yen 1,060-1,080 per sheet and for
2x6 at Yen 780-790 per sheet, down Yen 10-20 per sheet
and Yen 30 per sheet respectively from August.
Wood composite flooring imports pick up
In the first half of 2010, imports of wood composite
flooring amounted to 6,785,900 tsubo (22,393,470 square
metres), up 7.6% compared to the same period last year.
Type 1 wood composite flooring uses hardwood plywood.
In the first half of 2010, the output of Type 1 flooring
totalled 4,751,700 tsubo while imports were 4,714,900
tsubo. Type 3 wood composite flooring uses domestic
softwood, plantation plywood and fibreboard. Production
of Type 3 was 2,152,300 tsubo and imports 2, 071,000
tsubo in the first half of the year, up 9.4% and 3.6%
respectively compare to the same period last year.
The JLR forecasts higher wood composite flooring prices
for the second half of the year as tropical hardwood
plywood prices are anticipated to rise. The share of
domestic softwood in wood composite flooring is
increasing and a new product using domestic softwood
plywood and MDF has already been introduced, reports
Falcata plywood supply increases
Falcate plywood manufacturer in Indonesia, PT Sejahtera
Usaha Bersama, has increased the supply of falcate
plywood for Japanese building material manufacturer
Tostem Corporation, reports JLR.
Tostem Corporation is said to start production of structural
12mm floor base boards with certified falcate plywood
core and with certified South East Asian hardwood
plywood face and back.
PT Sejahtera Usaha Bersama has been producing monthly
35,000 cu.m of falcate plywood out of which 500-600
cu.m has been exported to Japan. According to JLR,
exports to Japan will grow to 3,000 per month.
PT Sejahtera Usaha Bersama is part of the Samko Timber
group including also other plywood and Laminated Veneer
Lumber (LVL) manufacturers such as Sumber Graha
Sejahtera and Sumarindo.
Law to promote wood in public buildings
The law promoting wood use in public buildings is due to
come into effect on 1 October 2010, reports the JLR. The
law aims at increasing the degree of self-sufficiency in
industrial wood consumption and to tackle climate change
by intensifying the use of wood. The law requires the use
of locally grown wood for public buildings; it also
recommends wood use in biomass power generation, pulp
and paper manufacturing and building infrastructure. The
initiative in the public sector is expected to have a knockon
effect on the private sector leading to a greater use of
wood in buildings.
All in all, the forestry sector and wood building material
manufacturers in Japan expects the new regulations to
improve timber demand which has been sluggish due to
the low housing starts. The challenge for the building
material manufacturers is to develop new wood products
for large buildings. Larger size squares like 135mm,
150mm and 180mm will be needed instead of standard
housing size squares of 105mm and 120mm.The JLR
notes that new building standards and technical solutions
need to be sought to meet new challenges and
requirements from the construction sector.