The amount of foreign logs received in Japan during the first half of 2015 was 1.71 million cubic metres (a 27.1 per cent decrease compared to the same period last year), said the Japan Lumber Journal Tuesday. The amount of lumber products received was 3.05 million cubic metres (a 11.6 per cent drop). The total combined was 4.76 million cubic metres (a 17.9 per cent decrease).
Japan Timber Import: 1H 2015
Japan Log Imports
The amount of Japan’s log imports for the first half of 2015 included:
• 1,28 million cubic metres (a 26.3 per cent decrease) from North America;
• 233,335 cubic metres (a 26.7 per cent drop) from New Zealand;
• 114,870 cubic metres (14.8 per cent less than last year) from Southsea region; and,
• 72,261 m3 (a 49.6 per cent decrease) from Russia.
Due to the falling yen in the exchange rate, the increase in demand in the producing regions, and the sluggishness in demand in Japan, North American logs, which account for 75 per cent of the total share, greatly decreased.
With the effects of the strengthening of illegal logging measures in the producing regions, logs from Southsea region had a 2-digit fall, and Russian logs also decreased about 50 per cent compared to the results of the same period last year, brought on by the decrease in demand and the decrease in logging in the producing regions.
Japan Lumber Imports
The amount of lumber products received included:
• 1.14 million cubic metres (a 19.2 per cent decrease) of European lumber; • 1.15 million cubic metres (a 5.4 per cent drop) of North American lumber;
• 337,761 cubic metres (7.2 per cent below last year) of Russian lumber; and, • 258,307 cubic metres (15.1 per cent lower) of Southsea lumber with all the main items decreasing.
Especially the amount of lumber products received from Europe has continued to be in a low condition since the latter half of last year due to the sluggishness in new housing construction starts in Japan and adjustments in production in the producing regions.
SOURCE: Japan Foreign Timber General Supply and Demand Liaison Conference via Japan Lumber Journal
Expectations for Japan Log and Lumber Imports
In the future for logs due to the decrease in logging in the producing regions, a decrease in logs received from North America is expected, and factors leading to an increase in the amount received from South- sea region and Russia are not seen. Also with a falling yen, the amount of logs received in general is expected to remain at a low level.
Concerning lumber products, domestic demand is seen as improving going into autumn, but for European lumber, forecasting the future is difficult due to factors in the producing regions such as a decrease in production by manufacturers. Due to a shortage of logs and demand being in good condition in North America, the possibility of an increase of North American lumber products headed for Japan is seen as very low.
Russian lumber products, which are supposed to improve in its import environment due to a weakening ruble, lack of stability in supplies, and Southsea lumber products are not expected to increase due to logging in the producing regions being in a low condition, so with the substitution by domestically produced lumber moving ahead, the amount of lumber products received from abroad is expected to continue to be in a low condition compared with last year.