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Japan Wood Products
Japan Wood Products Prices
Dollar Exchange Rates of 8th March 2004
Japan Yen 112. 07
log and lumber imports up in 2003
of Russian logs and lumbers in 2003 exceeded that 2002. In particular,
lumber imports from Russia in 2003 were the highest in the history of this
trade. Total log imports were 4,837,000 cubic metres, about 300,000 cubic
metres more than 2002 and this increase was driven by active demand from
plywood mills. In 2003 larch accounted for 46% of total log imports of
4,977,000 cubic metres, The Japan Lumber Report is saying that log
inventories at the end of 2003 dropped to 521,000 cubic metre, which was
less than a half of the inventory seen four years ago.
supply of larch increased by 10% due to the progressive shift away from
tropical hardwood logs to softwood logs by major plywood mills.
pine bacomes the major lumber material for the house builders and the
unexpected fall off in supply of red pine logs during July to October held
total imports to only 1,388,000 cubic metres. Red pine log import for the
four months period July-October was only 64,000 cubic metres so mills were
not able to build up inventories and this resulted in higher prices.
imports from Russia is increasing every year and last year about 43% of
the lumber came from joint venture companies.
housing starts in January have been reported as 87,970 units, 7.3% more
than the same month a year ago and this was the second months where an
increase was reported.
from Indonesia for plywood for Japan have increased again. In its latest
offer Apkindo was reported as quoting US$390-400 per cubic metre C&F
for 12 mm JAS concrete formboard panels, some US$20 higher than the
previous proposals made in January.
for 12mm structural panel F 4star premium category are US$400-410, US$10
higher than the previous quote. The previous offer price translated to a
cost of about yen 915 per sheet delivered Tokyo wholesalers.
The cost with the new quote would be about yen 945 up yen 30 yen
domestic market prices are yen 850-870 yen. US$480-490 is the new proposal
on floor base panel F 3star US$60 higher than the previous offer. Building
materials manufacturers have been buying actively and prices have gone up
to around US$450.
Log Prices Rising
of firming FOB prices, increases in ocean freight and the weakening yen,
the log market in Japan is finally firming. In early March, Meranti
regular prices were about yen 5,300 per koku CIF, 100 yen higher than in
late January. Kapur regular prices are reported as yen 6,500, also 100 yen
past two to three months, prices have been steady at the bottom of the
range but now it seems as if, finally, prices have started to move, the
first sign of a rise in 16 months.
of the increases in prices plywood mills have signalled their intention to
raise prices for plywood so
as to offset the higher log costs. However it is not only the FOB prices
that are moving, freight costs are up and the yen is buying fewer dollars
these days. The fear in the
trade in Japan is that these price increases will simply speed the shift
from tropical logs to other materials.
small prices are reported at yen 4,400- 4,500 and super small are at yen
4,050-4,100, yen 50-100 higher than in late January.
costs have been rising since mid February and the current rate for Sarawak
loading (one port loading and two ports discharging with full load) is
US$30-31 per cubic metre and for PNG loading is US$38-40, this is about
US$3 higher than the January freight levels.
improvements in the weather in Sarawak, port log inventories are
reportedly still tight such that exporters are asking higher FOB prices.
Japanese buyers have apparently already accepted US$148 per cubic metre
FOB for Meranti regular so the suppliers are now pushing for at least
US$150 for Meranti regular, US$125 for small Meranti and for US$112 for
super small Meranti. For
Kapur floaters the prices are at around US$185 and at US$175 for kapur
sinkers but the Japanese buyers are offering strong resistance at these
For Plywood Manufacturing
more information on the Japanese market please
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