Expert Golovina: Japan repeats Moscow’s previous sanctions against Tokyo on timber
TOKYO, June 3 – RIA Novosti. Japan’s sanctions against Russia on timber, as it turned out, completely coincide with the measures taken by Russia against Japan, including on the list of hostile countries a few weeks ago, Olga Golovina, director of one of the largest suppliers, Zvezda Japan International , told RIA Novosti.
“Everyone feared it would get much worse, but right now Japan has just implemented the sanctions that Russia imposed a few weeks ago. As I recall, that’s what America then announced that Japan was after Bucha. All Japanese companies, as well as the Russians, what will happen? It was Friday, and on Tuesday, Japan announced a package of sanctions that included coatings and sawdust.But the truth is, Russia has placed Japan on the list of hostile countries, it has announced that it will not supply coatings and sawdust to these countries. As no new sanctions have been imposed by Japan Our customers were surprised and delighted,” he said. Procure this type of wood.
But this measure taken by Russia was quite painful for the Japanese wood market: in Japanese plywood, the outer layer is mostly Russian larch veneer. It is durable, moisture resistant, which is important in the Japanese humid climate. The impact has been even greater since last year due to supply disruptions due to the pandemic, less plywood has already been produced, causing delays in residential construction.
“As I was told later, the factories in Toyama and Niigata, in the provinces where the timber processing companies working with Russia are concentrated, were visited by representatives of the ministry, who asked what would happen if sanctions against Russian forests were accepted. As a rule, these factories engaged in the processing of Russian boards, very rarely Russian They use another tree besides. Therefore, when asked how you would react if we sanctioned Russia, they said, “We would react badly,” we just close and that’s it.” Apparently, the Japanese government somehow listened to this,” explained a representative of Zvezda Japan International.
Large Japanese companies could also move to manufacturers from other countries, while small manufacturers, factories, sawmills, with 30-40 people in the state and dealing only with Russian timber, could not withstand such a blow.
“The Japanese sanctions have three names: veneer, sawdust and round wood, but Russia has banned it before. The numbers are indicated here, and using them you need to find the name of the product in the registration. When I entered, I saw the registration and names at first I could not see all the sanctions are the same, which is already banned by russia The only difference is that Russia imposes sanctions until the end of 2022 and Japan So, even if you change your mind, we are still here, we will not buy from you,” said Olga Golovina.
When Japan was removed from the list of most preferred countries for trade, it also increased taxes on finished products from Russia. Unplaned wood processed in Japan remained the same to revive sawmills, while processed dry wood, which bypassed the sawmills and got into construction immediately, taxes were increased from 4.8% to 8%.
However, not everything is so rosy. In addition to the low exchange rate of the yen, one of the main problems at the moment is transportation and logistics costs.
“Now the yen exchange rate is negative, the price of the shipping component has increased. There are problems with no return cargo from Japan. Containers from Russia arrive in Japan, but there is nothing to send back because there is nothing to return because of it. Many Japanese companies from the Russian market detachment, albeit temporarily, stopped the delivery of spare parts and components to Russia. As a result, there are only three companies that transport containers from Russia to Japan and back. There are also difficulties in logistics. “But the overall impression is that Japan has had to impose sanctions to keep up with Western countries, but tries to do so in a way that doesn’t harm their companies,” he said.
“Now Japan has begun to take measures to reduce its dependence on Russian timber. Unfortunately for us. The Japanese government plans to introduce a subsidy for businesses that will use Japanese cryptomere to replace Russian timber. This place is very valuable. Even in economy-class homes with a limited budget, at least some Russian they try to use wood.Siberian pine is a must in elite quality homes.Generally Siberian pine is used in some places.Percent in any Japanese house.Because unlike Japanese cryptomere, which grows in the mountains, it is the most durable, not affected by moisture. Therefore, the Russian forest is very valuable here. other forests can beat it We have something to be proud of,” said Olga Golovina.
Despite everything, the expert believes that it will be difficult to completely replace the Russian forest in Japan.
“I’ve been in this business since 2008. And every year they scare me that if prices go up, customers will switch to other products. This hasn’t happened in 14 years so far. In the near future, of course, if Japan imposes a full embargo, it’s probably somehow Russian forests.” They will try to do without it, but it will be very difficult,” said Golovina.