According to Japan’s Forestry Agency, logs, plywood and laminated lumber are likely to increase compared to 2015 while imported lumber is expected to fall in 2Q and 3Q/2016. Projection for North American logs, European lumber, Radiata Pine logs and lumber from New Zealand and Chile, imported plywood for the first half of 2016 was revised downward from former projection made in December last year.
Domestic logs for lumber manufacturing are expected to increase quarter by quarter this year. For plywood manufacturing, total year demand would be lower than 2015.
Total log import in 2016 from North America, South Sea, Russia and New Zealand would increase after two years since the first quarter of 2014.
Lumber importers are cautious for future purchase due to low operations of precutting plants. Lumber from North America is projected to decline for the first half then climb some in the second half.
On European lumber, because of production curtailment due to log supply tightness by major sawmills, the volume would decline for the second and third quarter. On Radiata Pine logs and lumber from New Zealand and Chile, which is mainly used for crating lumber, by slow demand and excessive inventories, import for the first half would be less than 2015.
Domestic softwood plywood demand would continue expanding for both housing and general construction so the increase would continue through 2016. Imported plywood would decrease in the first quarter then by active demand for concrete forming panel and floor base, it would increase later. Structural laminated lumber demand would increase in every quarter but oversupply is forecasted for the third quarter.