Although in February Japan had not experienced a major impact from the corona pandemic there were signs in the construction and house building sectors that there was a slow-down. Year-on-year Japan’s February imports of plywood dropped 17% and compared to a month earlier import volumes were down 12.5%, as ITTO reported.
There was a 50% decline in both year on year and month on month plywood imports from China because many of the mills in that country had ceased operation for the Spring Festival which began on 25 January for 7days. During the holidays workers return to their home provinces but after the holidays and because of travel restrictions many found they could not return to work which hampered production.
Japan’s imports from the main plywood suppliers, Indonesia and Malaysia both experienced a 15% decline in February.