Japan’s plywood imports fall as domestic production grows

3 April 2020

For the first time in three years the total Japanese plywood supply dipped below 6milliom m3. Domestic production increased but imports fell to lowest in 20 years.

The total plywood supply for the whole of 2019 was just over 5.8m3, a 4.6% drop compared to 2018 and the first time in three years that total supply amounted to less than 6million m3.

Imported Malaysian plywood dropped to less than 1million m3, the lowest level for 24 years. However the domestic production of plywood in Japan for 2019 reached record levels and exceeded 3million m3 with a market share of 56.7 %. This was a 4.3% increase compared to 2018 and the first time domestic production has exceeded imports.

Plywood imports have been less than 3million m3 since 2015 due to environmental restrictions in Malaysia. In four separate months during 2019 imports totalled less than 200,000 m3 with total overall supply down to 2.5million m3, representing a 13.3% year on year drop.

Imports from all major sources decreased in the same period: Malaysia 875,000 m3; China 600,000 m3 (the lowest for ten years); Indonesia 900,000 m3.