[ferro-alloys.com]Japan's crude steel demand is forecast to rise 7.1% to 26.57 million mt in April-June from January-March amid production increases by integrated mills, and remain largely steady from the same quarter a year earlier, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Wednesday.
Demand for finished steel was forecast to rise 0.9% quarter on quarter and edge up 0.1% year on year in April-June, METI said.
A METI official said Wednesday that overall demand from the construction and manufacturing sectors has been firm to date in 2019 and this was expected to continue into April-June.
However, demand for ordinary carbon steel from the construction sector was forecast to drop 2.2% from January-March but rise 1% on year to 5.14 million mt, and from the manufacturing sector to drop 3.3% on quarter but rise 1.1% on year to 7.04 million mt. A Tokyo-based trader attributed these quarter-on-quarter declines to a seasonal spike in purchasing at end March before the Japan's new fiscal year starts on April 1.
METI forecast ordinary and special steel exports to rise 8.2% in April-June from January-March, and edge down 0.3% on year to 7.18 million mt.
The METI official said the on-quarter rise in exports was due to some integrated mills returning to normal production after facility issues, and therefore having more output available for export.
(S&P Global Platts)