This Month’s Highlights
- China Economic Update
- CW China’s ‘Live With Wood’ goes viral online
- Rugao Port imports Canadian wood for 1st time, topping US$121,000
- China releases three-year action plan for cleaner air
- Canadian OSB, SPF and Hemlock Used to Construct Shoe Factory
- Fact Finding about Midply Wall System with FP Innovations
- Canadian Hybrid P&B Demo House to Feature Canada Tsuga Built Up Beams
- Agricultural Building Boom
- Japan Economic Update
- Japan Housing Starts Summary for May 2018
- Promoting Wooden Construction to Japanese Architecture Students
- Largest Transaction in History for Detached Single Family House
- Super-E® Training in Canada Builds the Competence in Design and Construction of High Performance Wood Frame Houses in Korea
- Strengthened Seismic Design Requirement: Is it Challenge or Opportunity?
- Lumber Shipments
- Housing Construction
- Economy Update
China Economic Update
2018 Q2 highlights:
China has posted its Q2 GDP growth of 6.7%, slightly lower than 6.8 percent in Q1 of 2018. Tighter financial conditions (such as authorities continue to demolish on shadow banking and back up financial deleveraging) led to a moderated economic growth in first half of 2018, while manufacturing output moved slower but high-tech related activities remained solid growth; resilient domestic demand helped China maintain strong growth this year even though recent data show its economy is making slower paces. Focus Economics experts forecasted a 6.5% economy growth nationwide in 2018 and 6.3% in 2019.i
Property sales went down for the first time in six months due to continued speculation restrictions and rising mortgage rates both led by the government. However, new starts of real-estate construction in Q2 grew 11.3% compared 2017Q2 to 1.46 billion m2. Read more
CW China’s ‘Live With Wood’ goes viral online
It is probably every marketing director’s dream to see their promotional content going viral on social media platforms or create a ripple effect with the contents reaching a group of selected audience and their immediate circle influence, while continuous efforts to engage this group of audience with follow-up messages rolled out across multiple media channels.
The “Live With Wood” social media campaign funded by SLAP was exactly the one we had hoped for. By far, the campaign has created the ripple effect that resulted in multi-million media impressions. According to Meltwater, a third-party media monitoring agency, the original post featuring Dongyang resort project was picked up and retweeted by over 65 KOL (Key Opinion Leader) on their social media accounts and reached out to nearly 15 million people from April 12 to July 17, 2018. Read more
Rugao Port imports Canadian wood for 1st time, topping US$121,000
For the first time, Rugao Port of Jiangsu Province imported a total of 300 tons Canadian wood valued at US$121,000 on June 22.
The Canadian lumber has been transferred to a new and expanding wood industry park, which improves logistics and trading for imported lumber. This shows China opens up more infrastructure to cater for increasing demand for imported lumber and products. Read more
China releases three-year action plan for cleaner air
Economic, legal, technological, and administrative means will be adopted in a coordinated, methodical and targeted manner to “win the battle for blue skies,” according to the plan released by the State Council.
By 2020, emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide should drop by more than 15 percent compared with 2015 levels, while cities which fail to meet the requirement of PM2.5 density should see their density of PM 2.5, a key indicator of air pollution, fall by more than 18 percent from 2015 level, the plan said. Read more
Canadian OSB, SPF and Hemlock Used to Construct Shoe Factory
Recently Kevin Bews (COFI, SPF Group) and I had the opportunity to visit a 1-storey non-residential platform-frame construction site in Yokote City, Akita Prefecture. Once completed, a Tokyo-based shoe design and manufacturing company will produce their hand made high-end women’s shoes in this new factory. The architect originally planned for a steel frame building but as this was over budget they decided to look at wood. Due to the heavy snow loads in this area – up to 2 meters – the building had to have a very strong roof structure so they eventually chose a wooden truss system constructed with Canadian SPF lumber. To provide for higher insulation values the walls used 2×6 dimension lumber, sheathed with 9 mm, 3 x 10 Canadian OSB. The excellent cost performance of long-length Canadian OSB allowed for cost savings that the companies involved believe will help achieve a project that is within budget. Read more
Fact Finding about Midply Wall System with FP Innovations
In 2018, Canada Wood is actively promoting the Midply Shear Wall System to architects, builders and wood products end users in Japan. During a recent visit to Vancouver in June, Scott Anderson and myself visited FP Innovations to discuss Midply Wall System with Dr. Chun Ni and Dr. Marjan Popovski. The reasons we went there were to bring them up to speed about the present situation of Midply Wall System in Japan and to understand more of the background in the development and use of Midply in North America. The knowledge that we gained helps us deal with questions that we receive from Japanese architects and builders as part of our promotion activities. Read more
Canadian Hybrid P&B Demo House to Feature Canada Tsuga Built Up Beams
This year Canada Wood will be featuring building assembly technical innovations in our Canadian Hybrid Post & Beam Demo House. As part of this project, one of the new promising trial initiatives that we are pursuing is Hem Fir (N) Built Up Beams made from standard sized squares. Since Canada Tsuga has an E-120 value, which translates into a high bending strength, horizontal beams maximize the advantage of the characteristics of Canada Tsuga. The product trials were also as a result of recommendations from leading structural engineers that were encouraged by the market potential of Hem Fir (N) BUB. To develop the sample trials of Canada Tsuga Built Up Beams we collaborated with partners in Nagano and Kochi Prefectures that had special experience in effectively drying and laminating timbers and squares. Read more
Agricultural Building Boom
An encouraging trend that we have seen taking place for our industry, is an increase in the number of agricultural building going up in Japan. As other developed countries around the world have done, Japan’s farm industry is consolidating and family farms, once the back bone of this industry, are being uprooted and replaced by larger agribusinesses and farm cooperatives. This, and an increasing trend to build clean and green in Japan, has resulted in a lot more of these types of buildings being constructed in wood, and Canadian dimension lumber is well positioned to take advantage of this expanding opportunity with our strategic alignment with nail plate truss technology. Read more
Japan Economic Update
In recent economic news Japan continues to forge ahead with free trade and has formally approved gambling resorts. On the trade front, CPTPP negotiators met in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture in July to expedite implementation of the agreement. According to Japanese trade officials the agreement is scheduled to come into effect in early 2019. Negotiators also began discussions to expand CPTPP membership to include Columbia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia. Formal negotiations for entry of these nations is expected to commence as soon as the initial agreement among founding members is implemented in early 2019. Also in July, top officials from the European Union visited Tokyo to sign and implement the Japan-EU EPA agreement. Based on the largely on the template of the Japan-EU EPA and the CPTPP, Japan is also advancing negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement with 16 Southeast Asian nations. Beneath the global trade war headlines, Japan is quietly doubling down and moving forward on multilateral global free trade agreements. Read more
Japan Housing Starts Summary for May 2018
Total May housing starts fell 1.3% to 79,539 units. The declines were uneven based on markets and building types. The mansion condominium market posted the strongest results with a 20.7% increase. Wooden starts fell 3.0% to 43,399 units. Pre-fab housing fell 11.5% to 9,870 units. Post and beam housing held firm with 34,078 units. Platform frame starts fell significantly with a 12.2% drop to 8,464 units. The decrease was led by a 20.4% drop in rental housing. Owner occupied starts fell 2.4% to 2,564 units, however, built for sale speculative housing increased 6.0% to 1,264 units. Read more
Promoting Wooden Construction to Japanese Architecture Students
On June 21st, Canada Wood’s Shawn Lawlor delivered a guest lecture to 75 architecture program students at the Showa Women’s University in Tokyo. The event was in collaboration with the Japan 2×4 Home Builders Association. In my presentation I introduced the many species and wood products Canada exports to Japan, discussing their respective strengths and suitable end use applications in wooden design. The lecture also covered an introduction of the platform frame building system with examples shown of residential and non-residential construction in both Canada and Japan. The wooden demo projects completed under the Canada Tohoku Reconstruction Project were also detailed with a discussion on the design details. Read more
Largest Transaction in History for Detached Single Family House
While most people in Korea live in apartments, transactions of detached single family houses have increased every year since the 2010’s.
According to house transactions by housing type surveyed by the Korea Appraisal Board, transactions of detached single family houses in the past five years increased by 47%. In particular, the transaction volume of last year was the largest in history since statistics were taken and the upward tendency is expected to continue this year as the transaction volume in April is higher than that for the same period of last year.
Transactions of detached single family houses led to the increase of housing prices. Analysis of the sale price index by the Korea Appraisal Board shows that the apartment sale price index across Korea went down by 0.20% but that of detached single family house rose by 0.60%.
As for the reasons that detached single family houses are gaining popularity, experts point out scarcity and rise of land price. The scarcity value of detached single family houses can only increase as it is difficult to find land and carry out a project in it in the heart of the city. Read more
Super-E® Training in Canada Builds the Competence in Design and Construction of High Performance Wood Frame Houses in Korea
The Advanced Technology Construction Training (ATCT) in its 14th year was held in Chilliwack, BC, Canada, from July 3 to 13, 2018 for 18 participants from Korea – 5 designers and architects, 10 builders and contractors, 1 building product distributors, 1 vocational training instructor for wood frame construction and 1 architecture student. 8 of them are engaged in multiple businesses listed above and housing development – have enrolled this year’s program.
The 10-day training program consists of lectures, construction of mock-ups for putting the theories learned into practice and visits to various types of wood frame building construction site and mass timber buildings during the days and a lot of networking among the participants over BC wines and enjoying the cool weather and surrounding nature in the evenings. Read more
Strengthened Seismic Design Requirement: Is it Challenge or Opportunity?
Seismic design requirements were introduced for the first time in Korea in 1988 for buildings 6 storey and higher or total floor area 100,000m2 and larger and the latest major revision was made in 2005 requiring building structures 3 storey and higher or total floor area 1,000 m2 be seismically designed for safety and in 2015, minor change was made to restrict the total floor area to 500 m2.
Korea has long been regarded as a safe country from earthquakes. However, a record-breaking 5.8-magnitude earthquake happened in September, 2016 in Gyeongju and over four hundreds of smaller but considerable aftershocks have triggered public concern and, as for the countermeasure, MLIT has promulgated a strengthened seismic code in February, 2017 to bolster seismic design in all new buildings 2 storeys or higher and larger than 500 m2 from the former 3 storeys or higher. Read more
BC softwood lumber export volume to South Korea for the first five months of 2018 decreased 20.3% to 99,261 cubic meters as compared to 124,495 cubic meters for the same period of 2017.
This significant downward trajectory comes from many reasons including continuously weakened BC Coastal shipments in the second quarter of 2018 and decreased housing starts in the South Korean residential construction segment forced by the South Korean government’s strong intervention to limit the supply of new homes from August 2016 to check rise in household debts and curb rising house prices. Read more
Due to the ongoing government intervention to curb rising house prices and cool down the overheated housing market, South Korea’s housing starts in number of buildings for the first five months of 2018 decreased 15.5% to 35,591 buildings while that in number of units increased 17% to 197,475 units showing a market demand trend toward smaller size of apartment. Housing permits in number of buildings and units for the same period of 2018 also decreased 16.7% and 13.8% respectively to 41,436 buildings and 205,227 units from a year earlier 49,724 buildings and 238,179 units. Read more
South Korean economy expanded 3.1% last year and expected to grow 2.9% this year.
The country’s facility investment is expected to increase 1.5% this year, sharply slowing down from last year’s 14.6% on-year rise. Construction investment is forecast to decline 0.1% this year, a turnaround from last year’s 7.6% expansion.
Private spending, a major pillar of the country’s economic expansion, is projected to increase 2.7% this year, slightly higher from last year’s 2.6% rise.
South Korean government decided to raise the minimum wage for next year to 8,350 won per hour, up 10.9% from this year. This is the first time in history that the country’s minimum wage will surpass the 8,000 won mark. Read more