Value of US building materials imports to Japan rises 34.5% in January to US$98.28M, with total import value up 34.3% to US$1.35B; housing starts climb 1.0% year-over-year to 69,689 units in February, prefabricated starts advance 10.6% to 10,837 units

LOS ANGELES , April 14, 2014 () – The value of total building materials imports to Japan increased 34.3% to ¥139.3 billion (about US$1.35 billion at ¥103.25/US$) in January 2014, compared with ¥103.7 billion (about US$1.06 billion at ¥97.60/US$) for the same month in 2013, according to the latest data from the U.S. Commercial Service.

The U.S. contributed ¥10.1 billion (US$98.28 million) to the month’s total, an increase of 34.5% from the value in Jan. 2013 of ¥7.5 billion (US$77.32 million).

The latest housing data released by the U.S. Commercial Service and compiled by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, records housing starts at 69,689 units in February, an increase of 1.0% from Feb. 2013.

Single-family housing starts accounted for 32,825 units of February’s total, down 1.7% year-over-year. Multi-family starts reached 29,567 units, up 1.2% year-over-year, while prefabricated starts, which are not included in the total, rose 10.6% to 10,837 units.

For the first two months of 2014, starts totaled 138,258 units – up 6.7% from 147,532 a year earlier. Single family starts increased 1.2% in the two-month period to 68,801 units from 67,970 units, multi-family starts were up 12.6% to 63,479 units from 56,390 units, and prefab starts rose 10.6% to 23,787 units from 21,511 units.

The primary sources of this article are reports issued in April by the U.S. Commercial Service, Osaka-Kobe, Japan.

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