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Japan Wood Products Prices

01-15th April 2007

Japan Wood Products Prices
Dollar Exchange Rates of  13th
April  2007
Japan Yen 119.18

Reports From Japan

Log prices ease as mills increase use of softwood species
Prices for tropical logs were stable or declining in early April in Japan. Prices for meranti and kapur logs remained unchanged while those for meranti small and super small declined slightly (down $3 per m3) as Japanese plywood mills increased the use of softwood species and reduced consumption of tropical species. In Sabah, Malaysia, log suppliers were bullish due to the strengthening of the ringit against the US dollar. Prices for seraya have surged about $10 per m3.

Japanese imports of plywood slow down in early 2007
Plywood imports rose slightly to 447,791 m3 (¥30.3 billion) in January, up 0.3% (up 51% in value) from a year earlier. However, the expansion of plywood imports has slowed down in early 2007 due to large import volumes during the second half of 2006. By import source, 227,000
m3 came from Malaysia (down 8.3% and the first annual reduction in six months), 145,000 m3 from Indonesia (up 2%) and 63,000 m3 from China (up 29%). By wood species, imports of hardwood plywood fell 8% to 334,000 m3 while those of softwood plywood surged 155.5% to
8,000 m3.

Housing starts fall for second consecutive month
Total housing starts fell to 87,369 units in February, down 9.9% from a year ago and the second consecutive monthly decline (see chart). The decline was due to reductions in own, rental and built-for-sale houses. Wood-based units accounted for 42% of the total housing starts, down from 43% in the previous month. Seasonally adjusted annual housing starts fell to under 1.2 million in February.

Hashimoto develops mechanical green veneer jointer
Hashimoto Denki Co. Ltd. has developed a high speed green veneer jointer called ‘STJ-37 staple jointer’. The machine mechanically joins green veneer for core with urethane resin staples. The jointer is said to be faster and of easy maintenance, compared with traditional hot melt joint. It joins short veneers into specified size and minimizes labour when veneers go into the dryer.
Hashimoto will advertise the jointer combined with veneer feeder as “Eco-joint System”. Traditional hot melt method of green veneer joint is hard to speed up so Hashimoto came up with the idea to use urethane staples to join green veneer mechanically. The first jointer will be delivered to Shinyei Plywood in April.



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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