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Japan’s April-June steel demand to rise marginally

Japan’s crude steel output during April-June will reach 26.34 million mt, up 0.9% year on year but down 0.9% from from January-March, according to a new forecast released by Japan’s Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry.
METI said in the statement that the demand of finished carbon steel from the construction sector is expected to be up 0.1% on the year at 5.19 million mt.
The higher demand stemming from urban development and from 2020 Tokyo Olympic-related projects is expected to be negated by the lower demand from the housing sector. The demand will also be down 3.3% from the previous quarter.
In the manufacturing sector, the demand of finished carbon steel from auto and electronics is expected to fall as generally the first quarter of new fiscal year, April-March, witnesses slow demand.
Demand from shipbuilders is also expected to stay low but that from machineries will be firm. METI forecast the demand of finished carbon steel from manufactures to total 7.01 million mt, up 1.5% year on year but down 2.9% from January-March.
Meanwhile, Meti said that exports in the first quarter of the fiscal year 2018-2019 will rise 5.2% year on year to 7.76 million mt. However, they will be down 1.4% on the quarter.
A Tokyo-based trader said as the overall demand seasonally falls during the April-June period, the market was not concerned about the quarter-on-quarter drop. “We basically understand the demand will be kept firm, mills will be able to keep their production at high level,” he said.
Source: Platts
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