Welding Material Shipment to Continue to Be Firm

The shipments of welding materials increase 2% from the same month last year. The main demand for construction, shipbuilding, and car is good, and the export for those demand fields is also on the rise. The shipments are likely to reach 320,000 tonnes in fiscal 2005, the year that ends in March 2006, which would increase for 3 consecutive months. According to a head of a welding material manufacturer, the firm demand for electric machinery is likely to continue as the demand increases. Distributors aim at maintaining welding materials’ retail prices in fiscal 2006. The good demand is likely to increase the prices. Manufacturers are currently continuing the high level production. On the other hand, the demand for the construction industry, which had declined, is recovering thanks to increase of projects and civil capital investment. The export increases around 7% from the previous year. That to China as No. 1 welding material importer from Japan, and that to the U.S. and Sweden, etc. increases though that to Singapore and South Korea of No. 2 and 3 welding material importers from the nation respectively decreases. The domestic shipment became below 300,000 tonnes in fiscal 2002, but that recovered to 310,000 tonnes in fiscal 2004. Further, that in April-November 2005 became 208,770 tonnes, up 2.0% from the same period last year, which included 23,000 tonnes as the export. Regarding the import materials, which have about 20% of the market share, the import from South Korea as the main exporter to Japan decreased a little in the second half of last year due to weakening of pricing edge by the strong won. Welding material manufacturers have improved their income throughout their struggling for price revision in the background of escalating price of raw materials.