Japanese crude steel demand to fall 6.2 percent in Q1-2012
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According to Japanese Ministry of Trade, Japanese demand for crude steel is expected to fall 6.2 percent from a year earlier to 26 million mt in the January-March quarter of 2012 as a decrease in steel exports outweighs strong demand from the domestic auto sector.
Koichi Shiota, director at the ministry said that although inventory adjustments may likely keep steel production in check in the January-March quarter, quarterly crude steel production of 26 million mt will be the lowest since July-September of 2009. Shiota said that demand for steel in the next financial year remains cloudy due to an uncertain outlook for the yen rate and the European financial crisis.
Meanwhile, demand from domestic manufacturers is expected to stay solid, showing a recovery from the earthquake which hit Japan in March 11 and disrupted domestic supply chains and cut output. The ministry announced that carbon steel consumption at domestic carmakers is expected to jump 55 percent from a year earlier to 3.27 million tonnes during the January-March quarter. That of machinery makers is seen rising 7.8 percent to 1.28 million mt.