TOKYO Japanese steel shipments rebounded strongly in November as export volumes surged, while producers reduced output.
Shipments totaled 6.62 million tonnes in November, up 7.7 percent from the prior month and 10.8 percent higher than November 2012, the latest figures from the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF) show.
Exports also showed a strong rebound after four months of declines, rising 11.9 percent month on month and 3.6 percent year on year to 2.23 million tonnes, JISF said. Exports had fallen to a two-year low in October.
Domestic shipments continued to make strong gains, rising for a third month in a row to the highest level since March 2012. The 4.38 million tonnes shipped rose 5.9 percent month on month and 14.8 percent year on year.
Industry executives expect demand to remain robust ahead of a rise in a consumption tax in April.
Moreover, economists believe the effect of the consumption tax increase will be limited, as the global economy continues to recover.
Despite the rise in overall shipments, mills reduced crude steel output by 2.7 percent month on month to 9.27 million tonnes, following a rise in October to the highest level since June. However, the total was still up by 9 percent from year-ago levels.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.