Amid weak demand for steel, high prices and closure of calendar year, Japan has recorded a drop in imports and exports in December, according to the Japanese Iron and Steel Federation (JISF).
In December 2020, Japanese steel exports were at 2.559mn mt, down 7.4pc from the prior year, registering the eighth consecutive month of decline on a yearly comparison. Exports of ordinary steel were 1.631mn mt, down 9.0pc from the same month last year, the eighth consecutive month of decline.
- Exports of hot rolled wide-band steel were at 796,000mt, down 10.2pc from the prior year. Exports of thick plates were at 202,000mt, down 15.1pc from the prior year, down for the fourth consecutive month.
- Galvanized steel sheets exports were at 172,000mt, down 11.4pc from the prior year, declining for the ninth consecutive month.
- Exports of cold-rolled increased for the first time in nine months and were at 150,000mt, up 4.1pc from the prior year.
Thailand was the largest destination for steel exports with 461,000mt, up 20.6pc from December 2019. Exports to Thailand increased for the second consecutive month.
Exports to China were at 393,000mt, down 21.3pc from the prior year which declined for the second consecutive month, followed by South Korea (343,000mt, up 6.9pc), Taiwan (162,000mt, down 30.9pc) and the US (65,000mt, down 20.7pc) from the prior years’ December steel exports figures.
In December 2020, imports of ordinary steel were at 342,000mt, down 16pc from the same month last year and registered the 12th consecutive month of decline.
- Imports of hot-rolled wide-band steel were at 103,000mt, down 24pc from the prior year. Import of galvanized steel sheets was at 76,000mt, down 10pc from the prior year.
- Cold-rolled wide-band steel imports were at 48,000mt, down 47pc from the prior year.
- Imports of thick plates were at 57,000mt, up 46.4pc from the prior year that increased for the fourth consecutive month.
Japan imported the highest volume of steel from South Korea with 257,000mt, up 0.6pc from the prior December. Imports from South Korea increased for the first time in two months.
Taiwan shipped 51,000mt, down 37.9pc from the prior year and China supplied 22,000mt, down 66pc from the prior year. Japanese steel imports have declined for the 11th consecutive month from China in December.