Japan's degree of self-sufficiency of wood in 2015 was 33.3%, 2.1 points up from 2014. This represents a five straight years improvement.
Total wood demand in 2015 was 75,300,000 cbm, 0.7% less than 2014, out of which domestic wood was 25,060,000 cbm, 6.0 % up. This pushed the degree of self-sufficiency up in 2015 too.
Total demand in the industry use was 70,880,000 cbm, 2.3% less. Out of this, domestic demand was 21,080,000 cbm, 1.4% more than the previous year, while imports rose up to 49,090,000 cbm, 3.9% less. Thus, the degree of self-sufficiency of wood in the industry use was 30.8%.
In 2015, total housing starts were 910,000 units, 1.9% more than in 2014. Out of this, wood based units amounted to 504,000, 3.0% increase, but wood demand for housing starts decreased. In particular, wood demand for lumber for both domestic and import was lower than in 2014.
New demand of domestic wood for laminated lumber and CLT has been constantly developing during the year and construction of non-residential buildings, such as nursing homes for aged people and kindergarten increased. Yet, this was not relevant to the statistics.
Plywood demand showed an obvious trend of shifting to domestic wood. Domestic wood increased by 5.5% while the imports were 18.1% less.
Because of significant drop of the imports, total demand decreased by 11.0%, while the degree of self-sufficiency moved up by 5.6 points.
Wood demand for fuel in 2015 increased by 39.5%, out of which domestic was 59.3% more. This pushed the degree of self-sufficiency up significantly. The driving factor was the increased use of unused wood for fuel after more wood biomass power generation facilities increased by FIT system.
There were only 9 plants which opened in 2014, but the number rose to 25 new facilities in 2015, waiting for more to come in 2016.