Japan Wood Products
Dollar Exchange Rates of
28th Apr 2011
Japan Yen 81.54
Reports From Japan
Japan’s industrial output plunges
The latest data shows that Japan's industrial output fell a
massive 15% in March while household spending dropped
dramatically according to government statistics, both the
result of the impact of the earthquake and tsunami and the
ongoing nuclear power plant crisis. The figures for the
quake hit areas show output was down 32%.
Analysts expect the Japanese economy to begin a
turnaround in the latter half of this year as government and
private-sector spending flows to reconstruction efforts in
the quake affected areas.
The latest data shows that in March, exports fell for the
first time in 16 months and retail sales fell at their second
highest rate on since records have been kept.
Canadian timber producers support reconstruction
efforts in Japan
Major Canadian timber producers have come together to
support the reconstruction efforts in Japan’s quake and
tsunami hit areas and they see that the expected demand
for building materials will provide a much needed
stimulus to their industry.
Sawnwood producers in British Columbia have a long
history of supplying Japan and now they are able to
contribute to efforts to rebuild infrastructure and provide
materials for homes for the thousands left homeless after
As the reconstruction begins in the coming months
industry analysts foresee a spike in demand for Canadian
lumber and other building products, providing an
alternative market for the industry which has been affected
by weak markets and slumping U.S. housing demand.
ITTO member countries called upon to assist Japan
Japan is in urgent need of pre-fabricated houses and
building materials in the aftermath of the earthquake and
tsunami that struck on March 11.
There have been requests from Japanese authorities for
pre-fabricated houses, laminated products and other
products that can be used immediately for the rebuilding
When rebuilding of the infrastructure begins sawmills and
panel mills that were not affected by either the earthquake
or tsunami will increase and this will require increased
imports of both hardwood and softwood logs.
ITTO member countries are currently assessing how they
can contribute to meet Japan’s immediate needs for
building materials and round logs after being alerted to the
extent of the crisis in Japan by ITTO’s Executive Director,
Emmanuel Ze Meka.
In the medium term imports of plywood, lumber and logs
are expected to increase and this will have a major impact
on global wood markets. Wood Resource Quarterly
anticipates that: “demand for plywood in Japan, especially
for concrete formboards, will also likely surge once the
reconstruction effort kicks in.
Malaysia and Indonesia provided more than 75% of
Japan's plywood imports in 2010, with China being the
only other significant supplier. All three supplier countries
are likely to see an increase in orders for plywood, with
Chinese producers using tropical hardwood log imports
from Papua New Guinea and several West African
Suppliers determined to maintain price levels
In the second half of May JAS 3x6 concrete formboard
prices in the Tokyo market were Tokyo market were Yen
1,200-1,250 per sheet delivered. Supply country prices on
April shipments were Yen 53,000 – 54,000 per cu.m C&F
for 3x6 concrete formboard and the Japan Lumber reports
says that suppliers seem determined to maintain these
price levels as demand in other markets is firm.
Toyo Knife’s Tagalong plant in Miyagi Prefecture destroyed
News has recently emerged on the fate of the Sendai-based
Toyo Knife Company which had a considerable share in
the world market for plywood peeler knives. It has been
reported that the company’s Tagajo, plant in Miyagi
Prefecture was destroyed by the tsunami and there are no
immediate prospect for restarting the business.
The Prefectural government knows the local industry has
be decimated and fears that if the fisheries and
manufacturing businesses in the Prefecture are not restored
then the regional economy could be hollowed out.