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JAPAN: IMPORTS OF RUSSIAN LOGS IN JAPAN REDUCED
2002.10.21




Japan's imports of Russian logs in August registered 336,000 cubic meters, a substantial fall of 25.4% against one month ago. They were the lowest monthly record of this year. The major factor was that the logging areas were in the off-harvest season that reduced the local inventories. But it is anxious for the Japanese market to know that Russia's exports to China doubled in one year to 1.29 million cubic meters in August from 630,000 cubic meters, which proves the substantial capacity of Russian logging out of the season. The export price for Japan, for example of Red Pine around Irkutsk has risen up to US$82-83 per cubic meter from the bottom of US$72. But it is expected that the log arrivals will recover in November as usual, and that the prices will go down accordingly. Japan Russian Wood Products Association reported that 400,000 cubic meters of Russian logs were demanded in Japan in August, and the stocks reached 755,000 cubic meters or 1.81 months at the end of the month. The inventories by species saw 188,000 cubic meters of Whitewood decreased by 6.3% from a month ago, 322,000 cubic meters of Larch dropped 7.0%, and 241,000 cubic meters of Red Pine reduced 11.2%, showing that all species have much diminished their stocks, especially Red Pine's. Of the August imports, logs for plywood usage retreated substantially by 21.8% against July to 152,000 cubic meters in total of the arrivals into major 11 ports. That is primarily because plywood manufacturers have secured enough materials for their operation, and then have reduced their orders. In July, 194,000 cubic meters of Russian logs were imported for plywood production. Another factor for the diminution could be what the domestic producers have been compelled again to limit their output because of the weakened market for plywood.

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