According to The Australian Financial Review, a slumping new home market is creating opportunities for builders able to meet the needs of buyers with less money to spend but who still need to buy a new home.
The Housing Industry Association on Tuesday said new home sales fell for a second month in July, prompting the lobby group for large house builders to renew predictions of decade-low activity next year even if interest rates were cut immediately.
Separately, however, even as ASX-listed builder Tamawood predicted a “subdued” next 12 months for the industry as a whole, the company said it was seeing an increase in sales of its single-storey, four-bedroom homes to clients now priced out of the market for larger two-storey homes.
He said the increase in sales – of homes about $300,000-$350,000 in price – had recovered the company’s total from the decline of about 30 per cent it suffered after raising prices from mid-2020 after the start of the HomeBuilder incentive payments.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, a leading Japanese distiller that became the toast of the shochu world with its Kuro Kirishima brand is hoping to repeat the feat with new products using barley and rice for the first time in more than two decades.
Potato-based shochu products like Kuro Kirishima currently account for the lion’s share of Kirishima Shuzo Co.’s output.
The company, headquartered in Miyakonojo, said barley-distilled Kirishima Hororu and rice-derived Kirishima Sururu will hit store shelves on Sept. 13.
“My hope is that new brand values will be created,” said Yoriyuki Enatsu, the president of Kirishima Shuzo, referring to his plans to make the new lineup a core part of the company’s business, along with their potato-based counterparts.
The Kirishima Hororu and Kirishima Sururu will be the company’s first bottles fashioned from barley and rice in 22 years and 23 years, respectively, according to an Aug. 2 announcement by Kirishima Shuzo.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, leather is becoming a problem as some people won’t wear animal hide and synthetic leather comes from crude oil.
But now there’s an environmentally friendly leather from agricultural sources.
Those producing it come from the farms of Shinshu, an upland region that roughly matches the boundaries of Nagano Prefecture.
In May, an apple leather was unveiled by Sorena, a local fashion accessories company.
“I would like to make this a product that represents Shinshu and one that we can proudly showcase to the world,” said Yuri Ito, the company’s president. Ito was speaking to reporters at the prefectural government office.
Leather and fur have taken a hiding in recent years. Animal welfare is no longer the realm of activists but is affecting mainstream consumer choices, as are environmental concerns.
According to The Australian Financial Review, global energy giant BP is optimistic it can export green hydrogen to Europe and Japan by the end of the decade from a repurposed, 70-year-old oil refinery south of Perth.
Having completed a study into the feasibility of developing a large-scale energy hub in Kwinana, the company is now eyeing the production of green hydrogen for domestic use by 2026 and potentially exporting the fuel before 2030.
BP hydrogen business development director Justin Nash said the company’s initial priority was servicing the local market, the WA green hydrogen project was already garnering interest from Europe and Japan.
According to The Jiji News, Japan's eating-out industry, including "izakaya" Japanese-style pubs and family restaurants, is enjoying a rapid business recovery after the government lowered the legal classification of COVID-19 in May, according to recent earnings reports from six major companies in the industry.
Zensho Holdings Co., which operates Sukiya "gyudon" beef-on-rice restaurants and other chains, said Thursday that its consolidated net profit in April-June hit a record high above 6.6 billion yen.
According to The Australian Financial Review, the number of auctions and clearances were higher in the week to 12 August, which experts say shows vendors and buyers have gained confidence that interest rate rises are coming to an end.
The clearance rate, 71.3 per cent, was a touch higher than the 71 per cent initial rate a week earlier – a figure subsequently revised down to 64.5 per cent – as the number of scheduled auctions rose picked up to 1911 from 1746 in the east coast-dominated national market, CoreLogic figures showed.
According to The Jiji News, major Japanese automakers are stepping up efforts to accelerate the development of electric vehicles, in a bid to catch up in the global market.
There is a sense of crisis over a possible decline of the Japanese automobile industry if U.S., European and Chinese automakers continue to dominate the EV market.
According to The Jiji News, technology companies in Japan are increasingly offering cutting-edge products for nursing care and welfare, aiming to reduce home care burdens and invigorate seniors who have difficulty going out as the country's population is graying.
Sourcenext Corp. has teamed up with Tellus You Care Inc. to start selling the U.S. startup's device to provide safety for aging people living alone.
According to The Australian Financial Review, the Japanese backers of a controversial project to convert Victoria’s brown coal into liquid hydrogen for export are warning that the $3 billion development will not go ahead without clearer signs of support from the state and federal government.
The Albanese government’s decision to rule out fossil-fuel-based projects from its $2 billion Hydrogen Headstart funding scheme has intensified worries voiced this year by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and others involved in the project that the policy settings around carbon capture and storage in particular are not supportive.
The Japanese government – through its Green Innovation Fund – agreed this year to allocate about $2.35 billion of funding to the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain project that will use carbon capture and storage to help convert the coal into hydrogen that could be shipped to Japan.
But the funds will only be disbursed when milestones have been reached, and Yuko Fukuma at Kawasaki’s Japan Suiso Energy, the group leading the development, said that a final decision on the next phase – a $3 billion commercial demonstration project – required “consistency in messaging” from governments to give the backers confidence to move forward.
According to The Nikkei Asia, Japan plans to more than double the output of electric vehicle chargers used at highway service areas, helping to shorten recharging times and encouraging the spread of EVs.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will set standards applied to quick chargers for EVs and plug-in hybrids, requiring operators to increase the output to at least 90 kilowatts -- more than twice the current average -- by 2030. For high traffic areas and other places of heavy demand, plans call for chargers of about 150 kW.
Draft guidelines for readying the quick chargers will be compiled soon.
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