Japan’s finished iron & steel products exports in June fell by 16.3pc from the prior June to 2.407mn mt amid weak global steel demand due to the pandemic, according to customs data. Exports are expected to drop further in July-September quarter as Japanese steel producers have cuts production amid limited global demand.
In June, exports of non-ferrous metals rose by 8.2pc from the prior June to 132,297mt.
Exports to China increased by 55pc to 622,000mt where demand from both the construction and automotive sector recovered rapidly. Japan’s exports to Middle East countries have increased to 97,000mt, up 84.5pc from the prior year. ASEAN countries reduced imports from Japan with volumes down by 36pc to 653,000mt from the prior year. Exports to South Korea dropped by 27pc to 371,000mt and to the US fell by 55pc to 44,000mt.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) forecasted that steel exports are expected to drop to 5.3mn mt, down 28.6pc from the prior year and 6.7pc from the prior quarter. This downturn is attributed to weak demand affecting the supply chain.
In June, total imports of manufactured iron & steel products fell by 18pc to 519,352mt, while imports of non-ferrous metals dropped by 20.7pc to 211,282mt from the prior June.
Japanese steel imports from South Korea dropped by 20pc to 233,766mt from the prior June. Steel products import from China fell by 16pc to 72,828mt and non-ferrous products imported dropped by 46pc to 29,030mt.