Malaysia: Plywood exports to Japan expand to double-digits

Photo: Ryno Marais/Unsplash

Malaysia saw a double-digit increase in plywood exports to Japan, surpassing figures of Indonesia, its main competitor.

According to a report from International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO), who quoted from Japan Finance Ministry, Japan imported 683,000m3 of tropical hardwood plywood from Malaysia in the first 10 months of 2021, a 14% increase compared to the same period in 2020.

Indonesia, however, saw a decrease in plywood exports in the same period, from 608,800m3 down to 572,400m3, a 5% decrease.

From January to October 2020, Japan purchased more plywood from Indonesia than from Malaysia, but Malaysia closed the gap with a tie of 702,700m3 with Indonesia for the whole year. Japan also imported plywood products from Vietnam and China, but not as much as from Malaysia and Indonesia.

Ta Ann Holdings, one of Malaysia’s plywood manufacturers, reported a 11% increase in the average selling price of its plywood products from Q2 to Q3 2021.

Japan’s domestic supply of hardwood plywood was affected by the closure and liquidation of Daishin Plywood Industry in 2021, one of the nation’s biggest hardwood plywood manufacturer, and who was responsible for importing tropical wood to be processed into plywood. With the closure of Daishin, Japan’s import of tropical logs decreased to almost none.

Japan also recorded a supply shortage of softwood plywood in 2021, according to the Japan Lumber Report (JLR). Additionally, the prices of imported hardwood plywood experienced a rise because the suppliers’ export prices keep escalating, while the Japanese yen’s exchange rate is weakening. Meanwhile, remaining plywood mills in Japan now are using veneers instead of tropical logs in their manufacturing activities.

Source: The Star