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Japan Wood Products Prices
Dollar Exchange Rates of 7th May 2004
Japan Yen 112.2
slow pace of increase in the Japanese market prices for logs is failing to
keep pace with the rapidly climbing FOB prices for tropical logs. FOB log
prices have been advancing the beginning of the year and this, along with
the rising ocean freight costs ( up US$3 per cubic metre since March) has
pushed up the cost of import logs.
negotiations between the importers and plywood mills have been stalled for
a month. Since late April, price negotiations started concerning earlier
shipments which were about US$150-154 per cubic metre FOB for Meranti
Regular logs but these negotiations got no where during April and
continued into May.
importers have even tried to compromise by offering logs at cost (without
profit) but plywood mills that even still the increase is too high. Even
at an "at cost" basis, an increase of Yen 700 per would be
required to match the at cost CIF price, this translates to a 13% increase
in price compared to the levels in April. Plymills say that they cannot
accept this and there has been no agreement so far.
mills want to see plywood prices moving up before they accept higher log
prices but, with rather limited log inventories the mills need to buy some
logs to maintain production. At the moment the importers have taken a firm
stand on the need for a price increase. The net result is that while there
is no agreement there are less purchases but still FOB prices are climbing
because of active purchases by local mills and by buyers from other
countries. If this issue remains unresolved then forward orders will be
delayed which could result in a shorta of log stock sometime in the near
current exporters offer price for Meranti Regular logs is US$165 per cubic
metre FOB for SQ and up. The importers are reportedly saying that this is
an impossible level when they are unable to even pass on the cost at a
level of US$150 per cubic metre.
April Wholesale Panel Prices
plywood prices up
value plywood processors decided to increase prices of printed plywood and
coloured plywood by between 5-10% as of May. The main reason for the
increase is the steep increase in the cost of the baseboard and resin.
Tropical plywood prices have been climbing due to a shortage of logs due
to restriction on timber harvests in producing countries, the declining
availability of good quality logs and the sharp rise in ocean freight
factors have combined to reduce import volumes so inventories are dropping
which, again, pushes up prices. In addition the local added value
processors have been having a tough time coping with revised Building
Standards Act, particularly on formaldehyde emission.
more information on the Japanese market please
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