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INDUSTRIAL TOPICS

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


Recently compiled by the Gypsum Board Association of Japan (10 member companies), the supply and demand of gypsum board for 2015 (January to December) showed the amount of production at 503,283,000 m² (4.8% decrease compared to the previous year) and the amount of shipments at 501,494,000 m² (4.8% decrease) falling below the results of the previous year for the first time in 6 years for the amount of production and 5 years for the amount of shipments. The amount of shipments recorded its highest amount of 675,991,000 m² in 1997, but it fell to the 400,000,000 m² level for the first time in 22 years in 2009 when new housing construction starts decreased a large amount. After that, new housing construction starts have recovered, and in 2013, it reached the 500,000,000 m² level for the first time in 5 years. Based on the thickness of the boards, the amount of production of 9.5 mm had a 31.5% share (0.8 point decrease compared to the previous year) while 12.5 mm had a 62% share (0.7 point increase), and 15 mm and over had a 6.5% share (0.1 point increase). The share of the main item of 12.5 mm increased for the first time in 2 years, and the share of 15 mm and over increased for the 5th consecutive year showing that the need of products with a certain amount of thickness is continuing to be on a rising trend.

The Real Estate Economic Institute Co., Ltd. (Tokyo) recently announced the nationwide condominium market trends for 2015. The number of condominiums sold in the major cities nationwide in 2015 was 78,089 units (6.1% decrease compared to the previous year) decreasing for the 2nd consecutive year. Based on region, the number of condominiums sold was 40,449 units (9.9% decrease) in the Tokyo Metropolitan area, 18,930 units (0.6% increase) in the Kinki region, and 5,000 units (14.6% increase) in the Tokai-Chukyo region; the 10% decrease in the Tokyo Metropolitan area led to a decrease nationwide. In other regions, the range in the number of condominiums sold was widespread with a 16% increase in Hokkaido, a 27.4% increase in Tohoku, a 4% decrease in Kanto, and a 16.6% decrease in Kyushu. The price per unit was 46.18 million yen rising 7.2% compared to the previous year and increasing for the 3rd consecutive year. The main factor was 9.1% increase of the average price in the Tokyo Metropolitan area to 55.18 million yen. Due to the increase in price, the total value of the condominiums sold nationwide slightly rose to 3.6064 trillion yen (0.7% increase). On the other hand, the number of condominiums sold this year is expected to increase for the 1st time in 3 years to 84,000 units. Both the Tokyo Metropolitan area and the Kinki region are forecasted to increase about 6%. The Tokai-Chukyo region is expected to increase about 10%.

Recently announced by the Japan Wood Preservers Industry Association, the amount of production of pressure treated wood preserved lumber (including steam and drying treatment; totaled from the 20 affiliated companies) in 2015 was 173,929 m³ (7.8% decrease compared to the previous year). Looking at the amount of production based on type of use, the amount for foundations, the largest use, was 94,361 m³ (5.2% decrease), and the amount for construction material (columns, furring strips, and others) was 50,410 m³ (5.1 % decrease) decreasing for both following the stagnation in construction starts for owner-occupied homes and single-family-homes built-for-sale. On the other hand, the amount of material for exterior use (wood decks, playground equipment, and others) greatly decreased to 12,242 m³ (22.9% decrease). Railroad ties continued to be on a decreasing trend at 7,949 m³ (16.5% decrease). The amount for electrical poles was 172 m³ (68.6% increase) becoming quite small compared to before, but the amount increased compared to the previous year. The amount for other uses (civil engineering, garden use, and packaging) was 8,795 m³ (16.4% decrease).

 

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