Japan’s Steel Imports Declined for the First Time in 2017

Posted on 10 October 2017

Source: Scrap Monster

The latest import trade statistics published by the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF) signals marginal decline in imports of ordinary steel by the country in August this year. This is the first decline in imports during the year. The imports had recorded increase during every month of 2017 until now.

Japan imported 383,158 tonnes of ordinary steel during August this year. This is marginally lower by 0.4% when compared with the imports during the same month a year before. The cumulative ordinary steel imports during the initial eight months of the current year surged higher by 13.6% over the previous year to total 3.159 million tonnes.

The largest exporter of ordinary steel to Japan during the month of August this year was South Korea. The imports from that country totaled 254,082 tonnes, accounting for over 66% of the total Japanese imports. The imports from Taiwan totaled 76,179 tonnes. In third place was China, which recorded shipment of 49,022 tonnes of ordinary steel to Japan. The imports from all other countries totaled 3,875 tonnes.

Among various ordinary steel products, imports of HR Wide strip recorded largest volumes. The imports totaled 115,797 tonnes, thereby accounting for nearly 30% of total imported volume. The second largest imports were that of Galvanized Steel. Japan’s imports of Galvanized Steel totaled 90,934 tonnes. In third place was CR wide strip with import volumes totaling 79,835 tonnes in August 2017. The other key products to record significant import volumes were Heavy Plates (47,590 tonnes), Welded Pipes (11,943 tonnes), Sections (8,632 tonnes) and Wire Rods (7,369 tonnes).

The products that witnessed highest import volumes during the first eight months of 2017 were HR wide strip (1.102 million tonnes), CR wide strip (638,515 tonnes), Galvanized Sheet (530,200 tonnes) and Heavy Plate (482,901 tonnes).

The JISF data also indicates that imports of Specialty steel products totaled 80,581 tonnes in August, out of which stainless steel accounted for 17,497 tonnes. The cumulative specialty steel products imports through August this year declined significantly by nearly 8% over the previous year.

Also, imports of secondary steel products totaled 55,415 tonnes, out of which steel wires accounted for 23,039 tonnes. China emerged as the leading exporter of secondary steel products to Japan with 29,650 tonnes, followed by South Korea (17,956 tonnes) and Taiwan (7,809 tonnes). The secondary steel products imports during the initial eight-month period of 2017 increased sharply by 8.3% over the previous year to total 531,657 tonnes. 

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