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Japan Wood Products Prices
Dollar Exchange Rates of 8th Oct. 2004
Japan Yen 109.48
the first half of the year, Russia accounted for 49% of the log imports by
Japan. Import volumes for both logs and sawnwood in the first half of this
year increased slightly compared to the same period of last year. Imports
of logs from Russia were up 15% and sawnwood imports from Russia also
jumped by nearly 20%.
amount value of log and sawnwood imports in the first half was Yen 284.9
billion (approximately US$2.6
billion). The total volume of log imports was 6,850,000 cubic metres, 2.5%
up on the same period last year at Yen 112.9 billion (+ 11.6%). The
increase in the value of imports was, says the Japan Lumber Report,
attributed to the considerable higher prices for Russian, North American
and New Zealand logs during the period.
latest figures show that the total plywood supply in Japan in July
(domestic and imports) was 720,000 cubic metres, 6% more than June and 11%
more than July last year. At 720,000 cubic metres the July figures better
the highest level for this year which was recorded in April. Imports of plywood have been above 400,000 cubic metres for four months
production of softwood plywood in July almost reached the previous high of
584,000 cubic metres recorded in September 2003. July imports of plywood
were 448,000 cubic metres, 9.2% more than June and 14.3% more than July
last year. This is the second largest monthly volume after the 452,000
cubic metres imported in January this year. The JLR suggests that log
supply in Indonesia and Malaysia has temporarily increased so that the
supply of plywood is increasing.
improving supply of imported plywood is impacting prices and the market
for commodity items like 12 mm panels is reportedly softening. In addition
analysts have observed a weakening of prices for thin and medium thin
importer did comment that they have been trying to hold up prices of
imported thin and medium thin panels but after some importers increased
imports and put more panels on the market, then prices started to slide.
for Indonesian JAS concrete forming 3x6 panels C&F are down around
US$5-10 compared to a month ago and this has caused producers to resist
JV in China
Corporation plans to establish a joint venture company for manufacturing
and marketing system kitchens in Shanghai, China. Actual start-up is
expected in January 2005. Cleanup will invest 51% and local kitchen makers
the balance and the total investment will amount to Yen 280 million.
until 2007, the company will reportedly lease existing plant in Shanghai
to hold down manufacturing cost and develop markets. All the products will
be sold in China and the target is rapidly growing wealthy families so
that the products will be high quality'. The marketing plan is for the
sale of 1,000 sets of system kitchen in 2005.
Log Prices Weaker
weaken FOB prices in Sarawak, there is rising from mills on Japanese
importers to reduce log prices. About a year ago, FOB prices for Meranti
regular were below USUS$130 but this had increased to a high of nearly
USUS$160 during this summer.
that FOB prices are weakening the endusers in Japan are putting strong
pressure on importers to lower wholesale prices. The importers however,
are unwillingly to lower prices. Currently wholesale prices are about Yen
6,100-6,150 per koku CIF which is Yen 50-100 lower than in late August.
Small Meranti prices are also down by Yen 100-150 at Yen 5,500-5,600.
Kapur prices are also easing to Yen 6,700- 6,800, a drop of Yen 50.
prices have been easing since late September. Current FOB prices of
Sarawak Meranti regular (SQ up) is US$152-153 per cubic metre, about US$3
lower compared late August. Meranti FOB was expected to go below US$150
but is seen as holding above US$150 at the moment.
FOB prices remain unchanged and FOB prices from exporters in the southern
part of PNG is firm due poor weather which has hampered logging. Shipping
availability from PNG is reportedly tight because of a lack of inbound
cargoes to PNG.
shipping companies are quoting US$50 per cubic metre with one port loading
and two ports discharging on full load basis. For Sarawak the freight rate
is about US$33 per cubic metre. Due worldwide shortage of oil a further
increases in freight rates is forecasted after November.
dominate OSB imports
share of European manufactured OSB in Japan's total import of OSB has
climbed sharply. Total import of OSB for the first half this year were121,
625 cubic metres, 31% higher than in the same period last year. Once
dominant North American imports dropped sharply after many suppliers gave
up on the export market because of a booming US domestic market. Main N.
American supplier now is Ainsworth.
are JAS certified structural OSB plants in Europe and supplies are coming
from three main sources, Egger and Kronotex (Germany) and Kronopol
(Poland) which is steadily increasing its share of the market. Since the
market prices of OSB in North American market remain high, it is unlikely
that exports to Japan will increase so the market will be dependent on
competition for plywood
Novopan in Osaka prefecture has acquired approval for their structural
particleboard from the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport
allowing its use in load bearing walls for traditional Japanese wooden
post and beam houses. With this approval, Novopan's particleboard can be
used as wall panels for almost all types of housing. The company says its
panels are price competitive with other wood based panel products.
structural particleboard is reported as having higher strength and
durability than structural plywood. Its shearing strength is reported as
more than twice that of plywood and it is said to have a much higher load
bearing strength than plywood.
For more information on the
Japanese market please
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