Japan’s plywood and wood flooring imports see no decline in March

Plywood imports

Year-on-year, the volume of Japan’s March 2020 imports of plywood (HS441210-39) rose 21% and there was a 10% month-on-month increase in import volumes, reported ITTO.

Of the various categories of plywood being tracked, HS441231 accounted for over 90% of March imports. Year-on-year, shipments from the main suppliers Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Vietnam increased but the month-on-month change was more variable. Month-on-month shipments from China dropped while for all of the other main suppliers there was an increase.

Assembled wooden flooring imports

Japan’s imports of assembled flooring (HS441871-79) in February followed the regular peak and dip scenario and did not showing any signs of decline which was something of a surprise. Although orders delivered in February would have been placed before the pandemic there could have been some disruptions due to shipping delays but this appears not to have been the case.

However, the impact of shipping and production delays in China feed through into the March import data where, instead of maintaining the peaks and dips observed over the years, there was a double dip in February and March.

Month-on-month March import values dropped 21% but year-on-year there was little change. Remarkably, there was a slight rise in the value of first quarter flooring imports compared to the first quarter 2019.

Of the four categories of flooring tracked, HS441875 made up almost 80% of all wood flooring imports and of the China shipped 57% with another 21% arriving from Malaysia.