Japan Crude Steel Production Becomes to 28.7 MT in Apr-Jun

Japanese crude steel production would become to 28.715 million tonnes in April-June 2006 according to output plans by Japanese steel makers, increasing by 2.6% from January-March 2006 and decreasing by 0.9% from April-June 2005, announced Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on Friday. The production would exceed Ministry’s steel demand estimate for April-June 2006 by 3.5%.Japanese steel makers increase their crude steel output from January-March when steel export would increase thanks to the steel market price rise mainly in Asia, electric furnace steel makers increase output before seasonal furnace repair in summer and some integrated steel makers prepare half-finished products before the blast furnace relining. In addition domestic inventory of coated, hot- and cold-rolled steel sheets is expected to decrease to around 4 million tonnes at the end of June and the inventory adjustment would complete.On the other hand, Japanese steel makers should pay attention to output expansion by Chinese and South Korean steel makers under price recovery in Asian market and control production volume at the moderate level against actual demand, even when steel demand maintains firm for automobile and building construction in Japan.Crude Steel production would become to the fifth in volume as the plan for April-June. Hisazumi Ando, steel section chief of Ministry, said that Japanese steel makers should control their production balanced with actual demand when steel demand is firm but price recovery in Asian market is not concrete yet. He especially pointed out Chinese steel makers are increasing output head for Europe and the U.S.A. and trade conflict might occur.Japanese crude steel production would increase by 30,000 tonnes at integrated steels in April-June from January-March and by 690,000 tonnes including special steels at electric furnaces. Production of semi-finished products for stocks would increase by 370,000 tonnes at integrated steels and by 100,000 tonnes at electric furnaces.