TOKYO Japanese crude
steel output is expected to bounce back only slightly in the
first three months of 2013 after falling to its lowest level in
six quarters in the final three months of 2012.
Crude steel output will edge up
to 26.06 million tonnes in the first quarter, 0.2 percent above
fourth-quarter production, according to estimates by
Japans Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (Meti) but
down 1.9 percent from the same period a year earlier.
Behind weaker output by the
countrys steelmakers are expectations of a decline in
domestic demand to 14.9 million tonnes, down 0.9 percent from
the fourth quarter and 9 percent from the first three months of
Carbon steel consumption in
Japan is expected to total 12.23 million tonnes in the first
quarter, down 1.1 percent from the fourth quarter and 4.3
percent from a year earlier.
But despite the expected
domestic slowdown, Meti said that steel exports are likely to
continue rising as global demand improves and the Japanese
The ministry expects exports to total 8.45 million tonnes in
the first quarter, up 4.1 percent from the fourth quarter and
5.5 percent from a year earlier.
A version of this article was first
published by AMM sister publication Steel