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Japan Wood Products Prices

01-15th April 2008

Japan Wood Products Prices

Dollar Exchange Rates of  15th Apr. 2008

Japan Yen 101.62

Reports From Japan

Japanese housing and construction industries face more bankruptcies
Japan Lumber Reports said that from January through
March 2008, ten companies have declared bankruptcy due
to the unstable financial conditions, slower building starts
and the effects of the revised Building Standards Act. The
full impacts of these are just beginning, as local banks are
now collecting outstanding debts. Builders have reported
that the high costs of building materials were out of reach
to buyers and many properties were sold at lower prices,
despite losses to builders.

LDP demands enforcement of Green Purchase law
In light of recent scandals in Japan revealing paper
manufacturers lying about the amount of sustainable
products used in paper manufacturing, the Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) demanded stricter compliance
with the Green Purchase Law, said Japan Lumber Reports.
The LDP said that if a limit of 70% of imported wood
chips was imposed for a ‘green’ product, paper
manufacturers would need to use domestic wood sources
as their raw material. This would help the domestic forest
industry as well as ensure compliance with Japan’s Green
Purchase law.

Japan moves to container shipping
As Saga Forest, a large bulk carrier company, recently
withdrew from the lumber shipping business, Japan
Lumber Reports explained that Japan will need to
increasingly rely on container shipping to receive lumber
from North America. Another company, Seaboard, is
reported to have reduced the number of available vessels
for lumber shipping as well. Due to the change, it is
expected that about 75% of products will be shipped by
container instead of bulk in the near term.

Imported plywood volume plunges in February
While February 2008 housing starts showed a minor
decline of 5.7% from February 2007 levels (Figure 1),
plywood imports dropped significantly in February 2008.
Plywood imports were 30% less than the same period a
year ago, according to Japan Lumber Reports. This was
the result of Malaysia decreasing its shipment by nearly
half in February 2008, and Indonesian and Chinese
shipments also lower than usual levels. Prices for lauan
plywood products were also rising due to their scarcity,
reported the Japan Lumber Journal.


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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