SINGAPORE Japans crude steel demand in its fiscal first quarter is expected to fall to 26.4 million tonnes, down 0.9 percent from the previous quarter and 4.1-percent lower than a year earlier, according to the countrys Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
Demand for ordinary steel for the three months ending June 30 is projected at 18.89 million tonnes, down 2.8 percent from the previous quarter but up 0.7 percent from the same period last year, while special steel demand is pegged at 4.61 million tonnes, down 0.4 percent from the previous three months and 12.8 percent below a year earlier.
Construction steel demand is expected to ease slightly from the previous quarter, primarily due to a decrease in construction activities linked to seasonal factors, METI said. However, construction demand is expected to be higher than last year due to an increase in reconstruction activities related to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, as well as ongoing building activities, the ministry added.
Fiscal first-quarter manufacturing steel demand will soften from the previous quarter because of a seasonal decrease in domestic auto sales and a slowdown in shipbuilding, which is structurally in a state of oversupply, the agency said.
Steel exports in the April-to-June period are projected at 8.8 million tonnes, down 1 percent from the previous quarter but 4 percent higher year on year. Ordinary steel will account for 7.21 million tonnes of the exports, down 1.6 percent from the previous quarter but up 8.7 percent from a year earlier, while special steel exports will total 1.59 million tonnes, up 2.1 percent and 13.1 percent, respectively, in the same comparisons, the ministry said.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.