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INDUSTRIAL TOPICS

Recent industry news from Japan Lumber Journal regular article, “News in Brief”


Kitakami Plywood Co., Ltd. (Kitakami City, Iwate Prefecture; President: Atsuhiro Inoue), which was established by investment from four companies of Seihoku Group, held the completion ceremony for "Yui Plywood Factory" on June 2th. A total of 180 people participated in the ceremony, including people from the Forestry Agency, local public entities, related organizations and the construction related industry. At the commemoration ceremony, President Inoue made a speech saying, "I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to all persons for their support to the completion of this factory. By utilizing local forest resources, the forest industry will flourish, which will in turn vitalize local economy. This factory aims to serve as a model factory of safe and clean factory with emphasis on working environment and regional and global environment to appeal to entire nation. As a plywood factory whose plywood is made from 100% domestic logs including those from Iwate prefecture, we would like to play a role as a bridge between forest resources in Iwate and housing manufacturers across the nation. The construction of this factory started in April 2014, and after the completion of factory building, trial operation started in December 2014. The factory acquired JAS certification in March 2015 and full-scale production started in May 2015. The factory is planning to produce 3,300,000 sheets of plywood (equivalent to plywood used for 10,000 general houses) using 100,000 cubic meters of domestic logs only, including cedar, larch and red pine from Iwate prefecture, per year.

On June 11, Daiwa House Industry Co., Ltd. (Head office: Osaka City) announced the start of a housing business of single-family homes in Malaysia. In collaboration with Sunway Berhad, the top property developer in Malaysia, the company established a joint venture company to work on the development and sales of single-family homes using the prefabricated home construction method. From this summer, 100 single-family homes will be built on the 5.3 hectare area of the Sunway Iskandar Project, a development zone in Iskandar located in the southern region of Johor, and sales will begin next spring. The single-family homes to be developed and sold will bring in shortened construction time and high quality, both of which are strengths of Japanese prefabricated homes. The construction material and equipment to be used in the construction of the homes will be largely purchased in the local area, and the construction time will be shortened to approximately 5 months about half the time of the local conventional construction method. The frame structure will use lightweight, steel reinforced beams with panels. The home will have an exterior wall system with excellent durability and energy conservation as standard equipment. Daiwa House has constructed 7 factories of Japanese companies in Malaysia since 1964. In April 2012, the company set its sight on entering the single-family home business in Malaysia and established an office in Kuala Lumpur, and it has conducted research and development on industrialized housing that suits the tropical rainforest climate of Malaysia.

On June 15, Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. announced its forecast of new housing construction starts and scale of the remodeling/renovation market from fiscal 2015 to 2030. The amount of new housing construction starts in fiscal 2015 is forecasted to increase slightly compared to the previous year to 890,000 units. After that, the amount is forecasted to increase to 920,000 units with a rush-in-demand occurring in fiscal 2016 just before the rise in consumption tax rate to 10%, but it is expected to decrease gradually with 760,000 units in fiscal 2020, 640,000 units in fiscal 2025, and 530,000 units in fiscal 2030. The amount in fiscal 2030 is about one-third the level of its peak after the bursting of the bubble economy in fiscal 1996 with 1,630,000 units. On the one hand, a decrease in the amount of new housing construction starts is expected, but on the other hand, the remodeling/renovation market is expected to expand following the “change to a long life span for housing.” “The scale of the remodeling/renovation market in a broad sense,” which includes the purchasing costs of interior products and durable consumer goods that are related to remodeling/renovation such as air conditioners and furniture, and costs for extension construction, reconstruction, and repair and maintenance of equipment, is forecasted to shift to a bullish tone with 6.7 trillion yen in fiscal 2015 and 6.6 trillion yen in fiscal 2016, and it is forecasted to decrease slightly in fiscal 2017 to 5.9 trillion yen due to the effects of the second rise in consumption tax rate. After that, the market is expected not to expand greatly, and it is expected to maintain a 6 trillion yen level until fiscal 2030.

 

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