Kallanish Kallanish

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April, 25th 2018

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MAY 16

Japanese domestic steel orders firm


Japanese steel orders were down sharply year-on-year in March. The total for the financial year ending in March was almost unchanged from the previous year however, according to data released by the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (Jisf). Export orders remained the key drag while domestic demand improved slightly, Kallanish notes.

Total March orders to mills were up 8.4% month-on-month but down -7% year-on-year at 5.8 million tonnes. Over the financial year total orders were up 0.2% to 68.91mt. Demand from the construction sector fared well, increasing 3.2% y-o-y in March to 1.07mt, and 3.5% y-o-y over the financial year to 11.47mt. Demand from manufacturing fell -2.8% y-o-y to 1.47mt in March, but was still up 2% y-o-y over the year to 19.07mt.

Export orders remained the weak point. Mill’s export orders were down -18.8% y-o-y at 2.03mt in March, while over the financial year they were down -4.1% at 25.25mt. Much of this decline is the result of trade barriers in India, which Japan has already complained about to the WTO. Japan is actually enjoying a resurgence in exports to some of its key captive markets however, such as Thailand.