Value of US building materials imports to Japan rises 20.4% in first two months to US$171.88M, with total import value up 25.9% to US$2.38B; housing starts drop 2.9% year-over-year in March to 69,411 units, prefabricated starts climb 11.3% to 10,598 units

LOS ANGELES , May 23, 2014 () – The value of total building materials imports to Japan grew 25.9% to ¥241.2 billion (about US$2.38 billion at ¥101.50/US$) in the first two months of 2014, compared to ¥191.5 billion (about US$1.96 billion at ¥97.60/US$) for the same two months of 2013, according to the latest data from the U.S. Commercial Service.

The U.S. contributed ¥17.4 billion (US$171.88 million) to the total, an increase of 20.4% from the value a year ago of ¥14.5 billion (US$148.46 million).

According to the latest housing data from the U.S. Commercial Service, compiled by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, housing starts in March were 69,411 units, down 2.9% from March last year.

Single-family housing starts accounted for 32,013 units of the total, a drop of 10.0% from last year, while multi-family starts reached 29,495 units, up 6.5% year-over-year. Prefabricated starts, which are not included in the total, rose 11.3% to 10,598 units.

Housing starts for the first three months were 216,943 units – up 3.4% year-over-year from 209,714 units. Single family starts dropped 2.6% in the three-month period to 100,814 units from 103,456 units, multi-family starts were up 10.6% to 92,974 units from 84,080 units, and prefab starts increased by 10.8% to 34,385 units from 31,031 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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