TOKYO Japanese steel
output is forecast to reach 27.58 million tonnes in the current
fiscal quarter, its highest level since the fourth quarter of
2010, amid continued growth in reconstruction and export
demand, Japans Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
This is considerably higher than
the initial estimate put out by the ministry at the beginning
of April, when it forecast production for the fiscal first
quarter at 26.37 million tonnes, and marks the first time
output will have surpassed the 27-million-tonne mark since the
second quarter of 2012.
"Not only is there continued
steel demand for reconstruction, but the latest housing data is
also showing an improvement. Exports are also expected to
continue to grow due to the weaker yen," a senior official at
the ministrys iron and steel division told AMM
sister publication Steel First.
However, he warned that Japanese
mills need to be careful about exports due to a weakening
supply-demand picture in the region as China ramps up its
production. Chinese mills increased output 0.6 percent in late
April to a record 2.1287 million tonnes per day.
Mills also need to take care not
to arouse trade friction with other regional producers due to
the weakening yen, the official added.
Last month, Kaohsiung,
Taiwan-based China Steel Corp. said it was exploring the
possibility of calling for an anti-dumping investigation into
the surge of Japanese plate imports as a direct result of the
Including exports, quarterly carbon steel demand is slated
to rise to 18.96 million tonnes, up 3.6 percent year on year
and 2.1 percent quarter on quarter.
A version of this article
was first published by AMM sister publication Steel