Japanese exports of ordinary steel increased by 4.2pc to 1.71mn mt in February compared to January, amid demand recovery, according to Japan’s Iron and Steel Federation. Steel manufacturers, however, recorded a drop of 6pc in exports compared to February 2020. As per the forecasts, amid recovering economies in the overseas markets, exports are likely to move up 10.7pc in the Q4 FY20 (Jan-Mar) from Q3 FY20 (Oct-Dec).
Exports of all steel products, including speciality steel, totalled 2.7mn mt, up 9.9pc from the prior month but down 9pc from the prior year period.
Japanese hot-rolled coil (HRC) exports dropped to 822,615mt in February, down 6.1pc from the prior month and 11.6pc from the prior year period. Domestic consumption of HRC increased on the back of rising auto demand in Japan while South Korea and China witnessed a decline in imports from Japan by 44pc and 24pc, respectively.
On the other hand, exports increased for hot dip galvanised (HDG) by 22.5pc to 223,547mt in February compared to January while CRC exports were at 180,783mt, up 30pc from the prior month. Exports of heavy plates sheets totalled at 165,773mt, up 10pc from the prior month but down 13pc from the prior year period.
During April-February period of FY2020, ordinary steel exports from Japan amounted to 18.24mn mt, down 12.8pc from the same period the prior year.
Exports from Japan to Thailand were at 523,000mt (up 22.8pc), China at 362,000mt (down 15.1pc), South Korea at 315,000mt (down 27.5pc), Taiwan at 162,000mt (down 36.4pc) and the United States at 111,000mt, (41.4pc increase) from the prior-year February.
Imports of ordinary steel in February rose for the first time in 14 months to 371,000mt, up 12.9pc from the same month in 2020. Imports of HRC steel were 124,000mt, up 10.2pc, CRC at 69,000mt (up 27.7pc) and planks at 50,000mt, up 63.9pc from the prior year. On the other hand, sales of galvanized steel sheets (67,000mt, down 10pc year-on-year) decreased for the 11th consecutive month. Imports from South Korea was 261,000mt, up 14.8pc; Taiwan at 73,000mt, up 22pc; and China was at 21,000mt, up 37.2pc.