Japan reduces reliance on imports, increases volume of lumber produced from domestic logs by 20 times between 2001 and 2010 to 815,000 m3

LOS ANGELES , September 16, 2011 () – A survey by the Japan Forest Products Journal has shown a significant increase in the number of sawmills processing domestic species, from four 10 years ago to 31 in 2010.

Kiln dried lumber production from domestic species accounted for around 32% of the country's total production in 2010, the International Tropical Timber Organization reported.

The total volume of lumber produced from domestic logs was up 20 times from 2001 at 815,000 m3, accounting for 50,000 m3 of logs.

The top 10 sawmills using domestic species consumed 1,386,100 m3/year in 2010, compared to 416,760 m3/year in 2001, the survey found.

The country's biggest processor of domestic species is Tohsen in Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo. In 2001, Tohsen processed 54,000 m3 across its 22 mills compared with 280,000 m3 in 2010.

The second largest consumers of domestic logs are Kyowa Mokuzai and Kawai Ringyo, which both consumed 180,000 m3 in 2010.

The country is also becoming less reliant on softwood lumber imports, with the top 10 sawmills producing around 32% of the country's total kiln dried sawnwood output in 2010.

The primary source of this article is the International Tropical Timber Organization, Yokohama, Japan, on Sept. 15, 2011.

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