Japan Steel Inventory Slightly Increases in December

Hot-rolled, cold-rolled and surface treated flat rolled steel inventories at Japanese steel makers, dealers and members of national coil centers association increased by 1.7% or 72,000 tonnes to 4.318 million tonnes for domestic order at the end of December from November. The inventory increased after three months. By year-to-year comparison, the inventory jumped by 501,000 tonnes.

Steel makers including Nippon Steel and JFE Steel have currently moved to output reductions but oversupply situation has actually continued. In usual years, the inventory tends to expand by more than 100,000 tonnes at the end of January from a month earlier. Thus the inventory might reach 4.5 million tonnes at the end of January.

The inventory increased by 3.5% to 1.984 million tonnes at steel makers. The inventory held by dealers also increased by 1.2% to 896,000 tonnes. The inventory at coil centers slightly decreased by 0.5% to 1.437 million tonnes. By items, hot-rolled flat steel increased by 1.5% to 2.184 million tonnes, surface treated steel sheet increased by 3.9% to 1.315 million tonnes while cold-rolled steel sheet decreased by 1.3% to 819,000 tonnes.

Japanese carbon steel inventory for domestic market increased by 1.2% or 67,000 tonnes to 5.578 million tonnes at the end of December from a month earlier, announced Japan Iron and Steel Federation on Tuesday. The inventory increased for the first time in three months. The inventory decreased by 26.2% or 284,000 tonnes to 800,000 tonnes for export, which decreased after two months. The inventory for export hit the lowest volume since 589,000 tonnes in April 2009.

Carbon steel inventory held by makers and dealers decreased by 3.3% or 217,000 tonnes to 6.378 million tonnes, which showed first decrease in two months. Steel makers’ inventory decreased by 4.8% or 250,000 tonnes to 4.984 million tonnes, which decreased after two months. Dealers’ inventory increased by 2.4% or 33,000 tonnes to 1.394 million tonnes, increasing for two months in a row.