Japan Special Steel Demand Rises by 1.2% in July-September

Japanese special steel demand will increase by 1.2% to 1.766 million tonnes in monthly average for hot rolled products in July-September from same period of 2006, representing increases for 22 quarters in a row, according to estimate by Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The demand increases by 0.8% from April-June, which is first rise in 2 quarters, due to firm demand for automobile and industrial machinery. The domestic demand decreases due to inventory adjustment from April-June, which decreases for 2 quarters in a row, while the export increases for 2 quarters in a row. The domestic demand increases by 1.5% to monthly 1.265 million tonnes in July-September from same period of 2006. The export demand increases by 0.2% to 501,000 tonnes. The demand decreases by 0.6% for domestic market and increases by 4.5% for export compared with April-June. METI expects the automobile output is 2.75 million units for finished car in July-September, which is 1.9% higher than April-June and 1.5% lower than same period of 2006, and 1.99 million units for knockdown sets, which is 1.2% higher than April-June and 4.7% higher than same period of 2006. The total output is 4.74 million tonnes, which is 1.6% higher than April-June and 1% higher than same period of 2006. The demand increases for tool steel, spring steel, bearing steel and high tensile steel products in July-September from April-June while the demand decreases for structural steel and stainless due to inventory adjustment.