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Japan:Wood Markets Information
2002.12.06


Plywood - Weaker Mood

Prices of both domestic and imported plywood are reported as weakening, particularly Indonesian JAS concrete formboard and long sheathing plywood prices are softening because some Indonesian suppliers are offering at low prices because of a lack of enquiries from Japan. This is despite the production slow down in Indonesia because of Ramadan. Prices of other panels such as floor base and thin plywood are also weaker and prices of commodity items such as concrete formboard and sheathing are falling.

Current quoted export prices are US$295-300 per cubic metre C&F for JAS concrete formboard, US$10-15 lower than a month ago. Prices are US$270-280 for long sheathing, down US$20. Floor base Fc2 prices are reported US$10-15 lower at US$380-385 and Fc0 is quoted at US$400-405. Thin and medium thickness plywood prices are US$460-470 for 2.4 mm,US$360-370 for 3.6 mm and US$360-380 for 5.2 mm panels.

In Japan, JAS concrete formboard wholesale prices are yen 840-850 per sheet delivered to Tokyo wholesalers, yen 10-20 lower than a month ago. Long sheathing prices are dipping below yen 800 being within a range of yen 780-810. Meanwhile because of the higher cost of recent arrivals, prices for floor base and thin plywood are reported as firming. Floor base prices were reported at yen 1,200 per sheet , yen 20 higher while 2.4 mm prices were at yen 275 and firming.

Building Firms Post Results

Six of Japan's major building materials trading firms recently released details of their financial performance. Except for Tomen Materia, five others posted increased sales and profits.
Total sales of those six companies were close to 470 billion yen, which is 14.1% higher than the same period last year

The main factor for high profits was higher prices of wood products. Plywood prices have increased since mid May and prices of other wood products followed soon after.

Tropical Log and Lumber Prices

Logs For Plywood Manufacturing
CIF Price Yen per Koku
Meranti (Hill, Sarawak)
Medium Mixed 6,300
Meranti (Hill, Sarawak)
STD Mixed 6,400
Meranti (Hill, Sarawak)
Small Lot
(SM60%, SSM40%) 5,600
Taun, Calophyllum (PNG)
and others 5,400
Mix Light Hardwood
(PNG G3-G5 grade) 4,700
Okoume (Gabon) 6,800
Keruing (Sarawak)
Medium MQ & up 7,000
Kapur (Sarawak) Medium
MQ & up 6,600


Logs For Sawmilling FOB Price Yen per Koku
Melapi (Sarawak)
Select 8,800
Agathis (Sarawak)
Select 8,600


Lumber FOB Price Yen per Cu.m
White Seraya (Sabah)
24x150mm, 4m 1st grade 113,000
Mixed Seraya 24x48mm,
1.8 - 4m, S2S 42,000



November Wholesale Prices




Sumitomo Forestry buys MDF manufacturer

Dominance Industries in Australia has been bought by Sumitomo Forestry.

Dominance Industries a Malaysian forest products company was established in May 1994 and has an annual production capacity of 133,000 cubic metres of radiata pine based MDF which the company exported to Japan.Sumitomo Forestry also owns Nelson Pine Industries (NPIL) in Nelson, New Zealand, which is the largest MDF plant as a single plant in the world.

Sumitomo Forestry's annual MDF supply capacity is 500,000 cubic metres which now makes the company a major supplier of MDF in the Pacific area.

Import softwood plywood

Supply and demand in Japan for North American softwood plywood are reported as well balanced. After demand started picking up because of orders from house builders and because arrivals have delayed due to the West Coast dock workers dispute, the market has firmed slightly. In the first half of this month, the prices of JAS structural 9.5 mm 4x8 was yen 1,250-1,280 per sheet delivered, yen 20-40 higher than a month ago. COFI roof 12.5 mm 2x7.5 was also tight in supply and prices were yen 910-930 per sheet, up yen 20-30.

SFI Label

The AF & PA representative in Japan recently announced a new label for under the SFI ( Sustainable Forestry Initiative ), a programme to support and verify sustainable forest management for the more than 200 enterprises that have come together to form the SFI.

The AF & PA representative in Japan said that, so far, 26.2 mil. hectares of forestland in North America have been assessed under this programme.

In North America, this labeling system is rapidly spreading in the field of paper, paper board , wood panel and wood products. It is reported that 85% of wood panels and 50% of lumber in the USA are now labeled under this system. The programme involves input from WWF, Conservation International and others.



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