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WhatWood Blog Woodworking High prices for Russian lumber may turn Japan to domestic or EU products

High prices for Russian lumber may turn Japan to domestic or EU products

8 November 2013 ` 02:40  

In August, Japan imported 333,756 m3 of softwood lumber from Europe, up 42.2% from a year ago, according to figures published by the Japan Lumber Journal and quoted by Holzkurier.

Major suppliers were Finland (115,825 m3), Austria (40,295 m3) and Sweden (94,371 m3). Prices for Austrian products in August grew by more than 50% to €329/m3 for softwood lumber and €431/m3 for structural laminated lumber.

Concerns among Japanese traders that shipments of wood products from Europe might decline over the next few months seemed to have been a major driver of mark-ups, experts of Japan Lumber Journal assume.

According to Customs statistics published monthly in WhatWood Weekly, Russian edge-sawn softwood lumber in August cost $481/m3 on the Japanese market, compared to $466 for Austria, $495 for Finland and $437 for Sweden. Non-edged Angara pine lumber, however, was less competitive in price: $398 against around $340 for pine from Finland, Sweden, and Latvia.

Russian shipments of softwood lumber were up 61.1% on-year to 77,239 m3. Product flow from the Tokyo Lumber Terminal to the distributors was somewhat stagnant, as the Japanese expressed concerns over the price-value relation of Russian timber products in comparison to European or domestic products.

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