04-09-2018

Japan’s Jul steel export rises 2% on year to 3.03 mil mt

Japan’s steel exports rose 2.3% year on year to 3.03 million mt in July, but were down 3.6% from June, according to data released by the Japan Iron & Steel Federation Friday.

A JISF official said Monday that total steel exports increased, but the level is still not high. He understands that overall export is still slow for mills to prioritize over domestic supply.

“HRC [hot rolled coil] as Japan’s key item of export, is still below 1 million mt. We can say Japanese mills are still limiting their export, but rise in plate export has pushed overall export to rise,” he said.

Last year, plate export was low due to the outage at Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp’s Oita plate mill due to a fire in early 2017, the official added.

Japan’s plate exports in July stood at 229,354 mt, up 76.8% on the year, but down 2.8% from June, the data showed.

By country, Japan’s steel export to Thailand reached 513,788 mt, up 15.3% year on year, and up by 3.1% from June, while those to China increased by 8.2% on the year, but down 5.9% on month to 444,734 mt.

Steel exports to South Korea slipped 1.1% year on year, and decreased 8.7% from June to 412,439 mt.

Japanese integrated mills are lifting their exports to Thailand as the Thai economy is growing, keeping downstream plants or Japanese transplants of manufactures busy, the JISF official said.

Among the overall steel products exported to Thailand, HRC exports rose 23.9% year on year and 22.2% to 170,087 mt, while semi-finished exports rose 237.7% year on year, but down 8.9% to 6,897 mt.

Source: Platts

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