Strong Demand For Plywood Market

According to The Star, plywood manufacturers are upbeat about strong demand and firmer tropical hardwood plywood prices in the Japanese market this year. Imported tropical hardwood prices have remained depressed in Japan in recent years but this has changed drastically following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and trade sanctions imposed by Japan and western nations against Moscow.

Malaysia is the number one exporter of tropical plywood to Japan last year and it remained as the top supplier in the first quarter of 2022 (1Q22).

One of Malaysia’s key plywood manufacturers, had reported a 44% increase in the average selling price of plywood products in the January-March 2022 quarter from the corresponding period in 2021.

According to the Japan Lumber Report (JLR) in its May 2022 publication, Japan’s imported tropical hardwood plywood and domestic softwood plywood are now in a very tight supply situation, thereby driving up prices.

The report said many tropical hardwood plywood companies in South-East Asia have declined most new order contracts due to the prolonged shortage of logs, the raw material to make plywood products.

It said Japanese companies take a lot of higher importing cost because the logs are high-priced, the minimum wages in Malaysia have increased and a weak yen hits the US dollar.

JLR said demand for imported hardwood structural plywood is getting stronger and market prices are more than 2,000 yen (RM67.10) per sheet, more than 100 yen (RM3.36) up from April in Tokyo market.

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