Japan Secondary Al Shipment Sharply Rebounds Y/Y in April

Japanese secondary aluminium and aluminium alloy production totaled 67,721 tonnes in April, increasing by 41.2% from a year earlier, while the shipment was 68,162 tonnes, increasing by 43.6%, according to Japan Aluminium Alloy Refiners Association. Both of the production and the shipment represented year-to-year plus for 2 months in a row. The figures showed much year-to-year expansion in April since the volumes halved in April 2011 after the mega earthquake. Compared with April 2010, the production was 93.3% and the shipment was 94.3%.

The shipment for die castings and castings represented year-to-year plus in March and April when car sales were favorable thanks to Japanese government’s incentive program and the release of new model cars. The shipment for steel making also represented year-to-year plus for 2 months in a row thanks to steel export recovery.

The shipment for extrusions maintained year-to-year plus for 8 straight months. The demand is steady along with the recovery of new housing starts or reconstructions in the disaster areas of North Japan. Another factor was that arrival of imported billet had delayed and shipment of domestic makers’ billet increased.

The shipment for flat products represented first year-to-year plus in 7 months but the shipment volume stayed low when aluminium market price was weak, can material export was slow and material inventory increased at aluminium can makers.