Japan’s crude steel output for the April to June quarter is expected to stay flat from a year earlier despite solid local demand in the construction and manufacturing industries. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry estimated that crude steel output to be 26.57 million tonnes in the April to June quarter this year compared with 26.56 million tonnes a year earlier. METI said “The small gain follows three consecutive quarterly year-on-year declines. The forecast for the April to June is 7.1% higher than the previous quarter’s output when a series of glitches at some blast furnaces have reduced their productions. Demand for steel products, including those for exports, in the April to June period is forecast to rise 0.1% to 22.93 million tonnes compared with a year earlier. Exports, which typically account for about 40% of Japanese steel production, during the period are predicted to fall 0.3% from a year earlier, but they are expected to surge 8.2% from the previous quarter.”
METI said that “Japan’s crude steel demand is forecast to rise 7.1% to 26.57 million tonne in April to June from January to March amid production increases by integrated mills, and remain largely steady from the same quarter a year earlier. Overall demand from the construction and manufacturing sectors has been firm to date in 2019 and this was expected to continue into April-June. However, demand for ordinary carbon steel from the construction sector was forecast to drop 2.2% from January-March but rise 1% on year to 5.14 million tonne, and from the manufacturing sector to drop 3.3% on quarter but rise 1.1% on year to 7.04 million tonne.”
Japan’s crude steel output for the January to March period is forecast to have fallen to 24.8 million tonnes, the lowest quarterly level since the July to September in 2009.
Japanese steelmakers are enjoying healthy demand from the construction sector amid higher public spending to build stronger infrastructure to mitigate damage from disasters, but a series of technical troubles have prevented them from producing as much steel as they had planned.
Source : REUTERS
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