Japan Steel Export Increases by 21% in May along Automakers High Output

Japanese steel export increased by 21% to 3.98 million tonnes in May from a year earlier and represented first year-to-year increase in 15 months, announced by Ministry of Finance on Wednesday. By month-to-month comparison, the export jumped by 30.1%. The export increased for Asia, Middle East and North America when automakers actively increased offshore productions and steel market price had surged by April.

By areas, the export to Asia increased by 10.3% to 3.063 million tonnes in May from a year earlier, involving the export increase to China by 3.5% to 590,000 tonnes. The export to NIEs decreased by 1.5% to 1.204 million tonnes while the export to ASEAN jumped by 21.5% to 1.144 million tonnes. The export to the USA jumped by 53.5% to 213,000 tonnes. The export to the Middle East expanded to around 1.8 times at 217,000 tonnes.

The total export unit price was FOB 84,392 yen per tonne in May, which decreased by 6.3% from April due to higher yen exchange rate.

Japanese steel import was 658,577 tonnes in May, decreasing by 8% from a year earlier. The import increased by 7.8% from April. The increase slowed down due to inventory adjustment at users. The import from Asia decreased by 2.0% to 551,743 tonnes from a year earlier, including the import from China decreasing by 30.3% to 99,457 tonnes. The import from NIEs increased by 16.5% to 421,385 tonnes. The import from ASEAN dropped by 73.7% to 8,619 tonnes.

The total import unit price was 110,924 yen in May, which was almost same as April level.