Japanese steelmakers exported 1.76mn mt of ordinary steel in August, down 14.5pc from the prior year, while up 10pc from July 2020, according to Japan Iron and Steel Federation data. Recovery in demand in the overseas markets such as China and Vietnam resulted in higher exports, though Japan’s crude steel production recorded a sixth successive fall in August.
More Japanese steelmakers resumed their operations actively post the COVID-19 outbreak in August resulting in higher production recovery and stronger demand for HRC and CRC.
Export shipments of all steel products (including specialty steel products) increased by 3.9pc to 2.59mn mt from a month prior.
In August, CRC sales increased 59.6pc from the prior month to 121,895mt. HRC sales were up 17.2pc to 998,561mt from the prior month. HDG shipments were stable reaching 121,875mt from July. Heavy plates sales dropped by 11.6pc to 194,716mt.
China remains the largest importer
The largest share of Japanese exports went to China amid recovering economic activities in China. Exports of ordinary steel to China increased by 1.2pc from a month prior and 12.2pc from the prior year, with HRC exports up by 66pc to 162,016mt from the prior year. During April-August, exports of ordinary steel were at 8.31mn mt, down 15.2pc from the prior year.
According to World Steel Association report, Japan produced 6.446mn mt of crude steel in August, down 20.6pc from 8.120mn mt a year ago.