Japan imports of North American logs for the first half of 2017 dropped 8.5 per cent compared to the same time the previous year, to 1.37 million cubic metres, while that of lumber increased 2.4 per cent, to 1.1 million cubic metres, said Japan Lumber Reports August 25.
The decrease in log imports is due to high volumes of consumption in 2016, and the rise in lumber imports is a result of smaller volumes last year. Compared to 2015, Japan’s log imports from North America are up 6.8 per cent and lumber is down 4.8 per cent, explained the Reports.
Japan Log and Lumber Consumption: 1H 2017
Japan imports of logs from the US fell 11.6 per cent compared to the first half of 2016, to 881,142 cubic metres in the first half of this year. Log imports from Canada fell by 2.4 per cent, to 487,988 cubic metres.
The supply of North American lumber to Japan was affected by heavy snow in winter, just like that of logs. The harsh winter hampered log harvesting in higher elevations, affecting hemlock and cypress specifically.
The supply of Spruce-Pine-Fir lumber from the interior of British Columbia was not affected by snow, however prices climbed due to low inventories domestically in Japan and brisk demand from the US.
The terrible forest fires this summer could influence SPF supply in the second half of 2017, determined the Reports.
The Japan Council for Advancement of Timber Utilization held the National Meeting for Wood Use Promotion on July 31 in Tokyo, said the Japan Lumber Journal September 15.
Japan National Meeting for Wood Use Promotion: Fiscal 2017
Wood Utilization Division of the Forestry Agency, reported,
“The percentage of wood constructed public buildings (based on floor space) is in a rising trend; to 11.7 per cent in fiscal 2015, from 8.3 per cent in fiscal 2010. Especially, the construction of low-rise buildings (3 storeys or less) rose from 11.9 per cent to 26 per cent in the same time period.”
A presentation of the progress of making schools with wood, by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, explained the amount of wood use in buildings and facilities of public schools nationwide in fiscal 2015 (new construction and renovation) was 23,600 cubic meters in wood constructed facilities and 48,500 cubic meters in non- wood constructed facilities (interior), for a total of 72,000 cubic meters. The ratio of domestically produced wood material for these projects was 67.6 per cent. In about 71 per cent of all the projects, wood was used.