Japanese steel exports in October 2020 fell by 12.8pc to 2.499mn mt from the prior year, according to the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF). Steel exports from the country recorded the sixth consecutive month of decline in comparison to the prior year.
China remained the largest importer of Japanese steel witnessing sixth successive growth. Exports of ordinary steel products were 1.685mn mt, down 10.0pc from October 2019.
In line with the recovery in local steel demand and ramping up production, both the exports and imports lowered in October. Japan’s crude steel production in October rose to 7.2mn mt, up 11.0pc from the prior month, but fell by 11.7pc from a year ago. Output has increased successively for the fourth month amid a recovery in demand.
Product-wise – Exports of hot-rolled wide-strip steel were at 896,000mt, down 5.5pc from October 2019. Exports of thick plates dropped for the second consecutive month to 176,000mt, down 31.3pc from the same month the prior year. Exports of Galvanized steel sheets at 143,000mt, down 5.5pc and cold-rolled wide band steel were at 126,000mt, 13.5pc down, marking the 7th consecutive month of decline in October.
Country-wise – China was the largest importer with 467,000mt steel from Japan, up 7.0pc from prior October. Exports to China increased for sixth consecutive months. Followed by South Korea (359,000mt, down 22pc), Thailand (344,000mt, 15.8pc down), Taiwan (191,000mt, 6.9pc decrease), and the United States (71,000mt, 31.7pc decrease). Exports to the US declined for 13 consecutive months.
Imports of ordinary steel products in October 2020 dropped for the 10th successive month. Imports were 381,000mt, down 8.7pc from the same month of the previous year.
Product-wise – Imports of hot-rolled wide-band steel were at 109,000mt, down by 20.9pc, galvanized steel sheets at 77,000mt, down by 4.6pc and cold-rolled wide-band steel at 65,000mt, down by 9.5pc from the same month the prior year. Imports decreased for 10th consecutive months. On the other hand, planks imports were at 65,000mt, up 46.2pc from the prior year. Planks imports increased for the second consecutive month.
Country-wise – Imports from South Korea topped the list with 278,000mt, up by 3.0pc and increased for the first time in 10 months, imports from Taiwan were at 64,000mt, down by 25.3pc, down for the first time in 2 months, and China at 31,000mt, up by 32.9pc.