Japan Shipbuilders’ Steel Consumption Expected to Keep Y/Y Same Volume in F2010

Steel consumption by Japanese 20 shipbuilders those who belong to Shipbuilders’ Association of Japan is estimated to decrease by 0.1% to 4.464 million tonnes through fiscal 2010 ending in March 2011 compared with fiscal 2009, according to the association. The steel consumption would decrease for 2 years in a row, which decreased by 3.4% year-on-year to 4.468 million tonnes in fiscal 2009. Meanwhile, the volume is expected to keep the almost same volume and represent higher than Japanese steel makers’ estimations as of the beginning of fiscal 2010. Shipbuilders keep relatively firm operations with 3-year order backlogs.

Japanese shipbuilders’ steel consumption hit record high at 4.628 million tonnes in fiscal 2008. The volume downturned in fiscal 2009 but the impact of new order receipt drop hasn’t appeared fully yet. Some of steel makers forecasted the steel consumption decreases by about 10% year-on-year in fiscal 2010 while the actual supply in April-September was likely to maintain the volume almost as much as the same period of fiscal 2009. New shipbuilding orders is slightly improving along marine transport increase mainly in Asia. Several steel makers forecast steel demand for shipbuilding could keep steady in the second half of fiscal 2010.

Meanwhile, the demand condition is still unclear. The association revised up steel consumption forecast in fiscal 2010 by 36,463 tonnes from the privies outlook while lowered the actual consumption in fiscal 2009 by 55,622 tonnes from the previous estimation. Steel consumption in fiscal 2009 seems to have declined due to construction deferment. New shipbuilding orders still stays at 60-70% compared with the volume in fiscal 2007-2008.

In fiscal 2010, steel consumption is forecasted at 3.859 million tonnes for plate, 355,874 tonnes for shaped steel, 101,371 tonnes for steel tube, 132,596 tonnes for steel bar and 15,550 tonnes for other steel products.