Japanese wood pellet imports are on pace to exceed 1 million tonnes in 2018, approximately double the amount of imports from 2017. Through the first 3 quarters of 2018, 63% of Japan’s wood pellet imports came from Canada and 31% from Vietnam. Due to the fixed price and long contract length of the Feed-in-Tariff subsidy that supports renewable energy in Japan, long term contracts from strong counter-parties, like those in Canada and the USA are the preferred form of procuring wood pellets for most Japanese buyers. It is expected a rapid expansion in Japanese wood pellet imports in the years to come.
In 2012, Japan imported only 71,981 metric tons of wood pellets. By 2013, that volume grew to 83,769 metric tons. Wood pellet imports reached 96,745 metric tons in 2014, 232,425 metric tons in 2015, and 346,855 metric tons in 2016.