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Japan Wood Products Prices

01-15th January 2007

Japan Wood Products Prices
Dollar Exchange Rates of  15th January  2007
Japan Yen 120.45

Reports From Japan

Log exports to Japan recover spurred by rising prices
Import of tropical logs by Japan surged 33% to 165,800 m3 in September. Japanese imports of tropical logs have been growing since March 2006 helped by stronger prices (see chart). However, total Japanese imports of tropical logs amounted to 1.02 million m3 in the year to
September, 4% below last year’s import volume. Accumulated log imports through September 2006 came from Malaysia (77%, two-thirds of which from Sarawak), PNG (14%), Solomon Isl. (8%) and Africa (0.5%). Tropical log exports to Japan were anticipated to decrease toward the end of 2006 and early 2007 due to reduced supply during the New Year and Lunar New Year
festivities. This will likely drive prices further up.

Indonesia lumber continues to lose ground in Japan
Japan’s imports of Asian lumber amounted to 43,150 m3 in October (see chart). Accumulated lumber imports through October fell 4.9% to 432,800 m3, compared with the same period last year. Imports through October 2006 came mainly from Malaysia (up 3.7% to 166,900 m3) and China (up 7.6% to 133,200 m3). Lumber imports from Indonesia, formerly Japan’s second largest supplier, continued to decline due to a shortage of logs, plunging 29% to 107,400 m3 in Jan-Oct 2006.

Japanese imports of plywood recover
Total volume of plywood supply surged to 770,000 m3 in October, up 15% from September, due to a recovery in Japanese plywood imports. Domestic plywood supply rose to 287,000 m3, the second highest level in the year, while imports soared 22% to 483,774 m3. By import source,
241,000 m3 came from Malaysia (up 12.6%), 168,000 m3 from Indonesia (up 47%) and 62,000 m3 from China (up 17%). China’s accumulated plywood exports through October totalled 507,000 m3, up 52.2% from 2005. Plywood supply from Southeast Asia recovered sharply,
following the end of Ramadan and associated festivities and lured by higher export prices. Japan’s total plywood imports were 4.6% above the pace in 2005. However, domestic plywood prices in Japan weakened slightly in November and December, particularly for thin plywood,
due to sluggish demand during those months.

Adhesive prices surge due to higher methanol costs
Adhesive manufacturers continue to face growing raw material costs due to higher methanol prices. CIF Japan prices of methanol have been rising steeply since last September, surging from $332 per ton to $400 in October, $490 in November and $500 in December, up more than
50% in the period. Manufacturers indicated that the production cost of adhesive for wood building materials such as plywood, MDF and laminated lumber increases ¥3.5-4 per kg for every ¥10 hike in methanol prices. Adhesive manufacturers announced that, in addition to
previous price hikes in late June and early July, they would raise prices to account for additional costs.




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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