Japan’s ordinary steel products orders declined by 12.1pc to 42.3mn mt in April-December 2020 from 48.2mn mt in the same year-ago period, according to the Japanese Iron and Steel Federation (JISF).
Hot-rolled strip was the most ordered product with sales at 13.3mn mt in April-December 2020 but its sales declined by 14.1pc against 15.5mn mt in the same period in 2019. Heavy plate orders declined by 13.4pc to 6.3mn mt from 7.3mn mt and galvanized sheet fell by 19.9pc to 5.3mn mt against 6.7mn mt in the same timeframe.
Japan’s total steel consumption declined by 12.1pc to 41.7mn mt in April-December 2020 from the same nine months a year ago, excluding 593,000mt for non-reporting companies. Domestic consumption dropped by 12.4pc to 26.6mn mt during this period against 30.4mn mt in April-December 2019. Exports accounted for 41.7mn mt, down 11.6pc to 15.1mn mt in the same comparative period.
Of the total domestic consumption, steel usage in the construction segment decreased by 1.4pc to 7.6mn mt in April-December 2020 against April-December 2019. Manufacturing consumption fell by 20pc to 10.7mn mt from 13.3mn mt while dealer volumes decreased by 10.7pc to 8.3mn mt compared to 9.3mn mt in the same period.
The domestic usage of steel products was led by the Kanto region at 8.6mn mt, down 11.1pc, in April-December 2020 against the same timeframe a year ago. Kansai followed with a decline of 11.6pc to 6mn mt, and Tokai fell by 14.2pc to 5.6mn mt during this period.
Consumption in the Kanto region made up 29.3pc of total domestic usage, followed by Kansai at 20.4pc, Tokai at 19.1pc, and smaller regions consuming the remaining 31.2pc of steel, JISF noted.
In December 2020, Japanese orders for ordinary steel products fell by 3pc to 5.4mn mt against the same month a year ago. Hot-rolled strip declined by 11.9pc to 1.7mn mt, heavy plate increased by 17.3pc to 765,000mt, and galvanized sheet rose by 6.5pc to 766,000mt in December 2020 compared to the same period a year ago.