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Kallanish Kallanish

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October, 23rd 2019

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JUN 19
07:27

Japanese steel exports gain in May

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Japanese iron and steel exports recovered month-on-month in May, according to preliminary customs data released by the Ministry of Finance. Year-on-year however exports remain down, Kallanish notes.

May iron and steel exports were down -5.7% y-o-y to 3.011 million tonnes, preliminary data show. That was up however from April’s final figure of 2.702mt. Exports have remained depressed due to weak demand, steady domestic orders and competition from other exporting economies.

Of the total, 2.444mt of exports went to Asia, down -2.1% y-o-y. These volumes were supported by strong growth to Korea and China. Exports to Korea jumped 18.6% to 562,000t as they continued to recovered from last year’s slump.

Exports to China meanwhile were up 6.4% to 448,000t in May. That compared to a -17.3% drop to 396,137t in April. That leaves exports over the first two months of the financial year down -6.2% to around 844,000t, in line with the impact on Japanese carmakers in China.

Asean meanwhile saw Japanese export volumes slide -14% to 938,000t. That suggests that recent firm demand from Thailand may also be fading. This will only be clear once detailed data comes out at the end of the month however.

Imports meanwhile were up only 0.3% y-o-y to 710,964t. Imports from Korea slipped -6.2% to 302,848t, while imports from China increased 7.6% to 136,186t. This continues the trend which has persisted for over a year. Imports from other sources, such as Vietnam have also grown rapidly in recent months but remain much smaller suppliers than China and Korea.