Japan’s new housing starts forecast by 11 private think tanks based on 1Q GDP is 940,000 units, 3.5 per cent less than 2016’s 974,000 units.
Structural laminated lumber is expected to go up by 5.2 per cent and plywood, up 3.2 per cent.
Since there is a gap between declining housing starts and increasing supply of building materials, over-supply may become problem.
The supply projection of structural laminated lumber for 2017 increased 7.4 per cent % for domestic products and one per cent for imports.
Domestic production will increase significantly by starts-up of new manufacturing facilities. The first quarter’s production was 15.3 per cent more than the same period of last year; the second quarter supply projection is 10 per cent more than the third quarter; the fourth quarter may fall due to uncertainty in demand.
The imports of laminated lumber for the first quarter were 25.9 per cent more but the second quarter would be down by 12.2 per cent as major suppliers in Romania delayed shipments. The third quarter supply would also be down by 13 per cent as Romanian supply would be down by 50 per cent. Therefore, total year supply would be the same as last year.
The demand for the third quarter is the same as last year on redwood laminated beam but that of laminated post would be down.
Domestic plywood supply would be up by 3.6 per cent; imports would be up by 2.7 per cent.
On imported logs and lumber, decrease is forecasted for all the sources from North America, Russia, South Sea, New Zealand and Chile.