Japan’s Forestry Agency has recently held a meeting for revising the wood demand for 2016. There is a reported increase as compared to last year, both for domestic and imported products.
There are still no effects after the postponement of consumption tax increase and the destruction of the Akita plywood mill by fire. The report was made before the appreciation of the yen after the Brexit.
The domestic production of plywood will increase to 3.009 cbm in 2016, up by 8.6% as compared to the previous year. The imports on plywood will decrease by 2.1%, to 2.825 cbm. The demand for active housing starts will increase due to the low mortgage interest rate and restoration demand on Kumamoto earthquake.
Moreover, the domestic plywood products are developed for floor base and concrete forming panel which have previously been supplied from South Sea imported plywood.
The laminated lumber supply for the Q3 of 2016 will decline as compared to the same period last year. Also, the domestic supply will be limited by shortage of laminated supply despite active demand while European supply will decline because of summer vacation season during the Q3.
Japan’s imported lumber for the Q2/2016 will reach the same values as last year, during which the European supply decreased because of the higher lamina prices. The Russian lumber supply for the Q4 will decrease because of the log supply shortage and over supply of low grade lumber. Radiata pine logs and lumber from New Zealand and Chile will increase with hope of recovery for crating lumber demand.
Imported logs in the Q2 varied by sources. North American logs increased, while the South Sea supply continued to decrease. Russian logs also decreased due to the log harvest difficulty. Also, the domestic log exports is recovering after a 20-30% year-on-year decline.
Log exports from Japan slightly decreased during January-April 2016. The log decreased by 14.3%, while the lumber went down by 7.5%. China’s imports of logs from Japan increased by 12.6%, while Korea decreased by 30.8.