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Japan Wood Products Prices

16-30th November 2007

Japan Wood Products Prices
Dollar Exchange Rates of  30th
Nov.  2007
Japan Yen 111.12

Reports From Japan

Japanese firms disclose losses caused by falling plywood prices
Japan Lumber Reports painted a mixed picture for profits of Japanese firms dealing with wood and building materials, some of which suffered losses due to falling imported plywood prices. Although it was noted that many companies registered profits from January to April 2007, the gap between prices of imported and domestically produced plywood widened, and many companies suffered losses after April 2007. There was a steeper decline in losses during August and September, after housing starts fell. Sumitomo Forestry showed an increase in revenue, although profits fell. Sales (excluding logs and wood) during April-September 2007 were up 1.3% from April-September 2006. However, Sumisho & Mitsuibussan Kenzai showed an operating loss of JPY49 million.

Southsea log import expected to drop
At a recent Southsea Lumber Conference convened by the Tokyo Chapter of Japan, it was noted that Southsea log consumption would drop, with one attendee saying monthly consumption would drop by 5,000m3. The Japan Lumber Journal covered the discussions at the meeting, noting that participants expected domestic prices for plywood from Sarawak, Solomon Islands, and PNG to remain firm during November and December, since their local prices had not fallen. Buyers also seem to be relying on domestic supplies of logs, in part due to freight rate increases and since domestic prices have started to leveloff.

Imports of Southsea logs from January – September 2007 were 828,450 m3, with Sarawak’s supplies dropping 22.6% from a year earlier. Japan’s imports of Southsea sawntimber products have also been decreasing, since imports from January-September 2007 fell 9.6% from the same period from the previous year. Lumber dropped 15.1%, with softwood lumber sustaining the previous year’s level of imports.


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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