Japan H-beam Demand Estimated at 1.3MT for Fiscal 2H

According to a source of Japanese integrated steel maker, domestic demand for H-beam is currently forecasted at 1.3 million tonnes for the second half of fiscal 2009 ending in March 2010, though which was estimated at 1.4 million tonnes in August. The source said the demand is expected to keep the level almost as same as the first-half fiscal year. Building construction plans tend to be late. The demand might recover in fiscal 2010.

The maker previously forecasted the demand at 800,000 tonnes for October-December and Janaury-March while revised down each 3-month forecast to 700,000 tonnes in August. H-beam demand dropped more than expected in the first-half fiscal year and then the maker revised down its forecast for the second half year. Even so, the maker has expected for the market improvement in autumn.

The actual demand shrank by 40% to 620,000 tonnes for April-Juneand by 35% to 670,000 tonnes for July-September from the corresponding period of 2008. The maker prospects the demand decreases by 22% to 660,000-670,000 tonnes for October-December and by 7% to 650,000 tonnes for January-March from the same period of 2008-2009. In usual years, the demand declines by around 10% for January-March from October-December. However, the maker forecasts the demand slightly increases for January-March 2010.

The maker’s sales representative said small-middle size building constructions could recover in or after the secon half of fiscal 2010. The demand is expected to rebound from specific users while stay low from dealers. The representative said actual demand hit bottom in fiscal 2009 and would rebound moderately in fiscal 2010 along Japanese government’s readjustment of public investment.