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Nickel Consumption In Japan For Jan. - Mar. / 09 Quarter Decreased By 58%
= Statistics By METI, Nickel Consumption By Special Steel Industry Had Considerable Decrease Of 63%
According to the statistics concerning nonferrous metals compiled and released by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan, the total quantity of nickel metal consumed by the industries of Japan in the first quarter (January - March) of 2009 came to 5,920 tons, having had a considerable decrease of 58.4% compared with that (14,238 tons) in the same quarter of 2008, and this large decline of nickel consumption in Japan is thought to have reflected a depression of economic activities mainly in automobile industry.

In particular, nickel is consumed for stainless steel production and for plating, which are directly or indirectly connected with automobile manufacturing and, therefore, the steeply reduced automobile production has put a substantial influence on nickel consumption in Japan.

The quantities of nickel metal consumed by main industries of Japan in January - March quarter of 2009 were as per the table shown below.

Among these industries, special steel sector, including stainless steel, had a large decrease of nickel consumption and the 4,087.5 tons of nickel metal consumed by this sector in January - March quarter of 2009 had a remarkable decline of 63.3% from that (11,136.5 tons) in the same quarter of 2008. The output of crude stainless steel by five major stainless steel companies of Japan in January - March quarter of 2009 had fallen to the level of 38% on the basis of its operation rate compared to that (995,000 tons) in the same quarter of 2008 and this substantial reduction in production of crude stainless steel had put a deep shadow on nickel consumption in Japan. Nickel consumption in magnetic materials sector for the quarter had been depressed in the same case as that of special steel sector and this sector consumed 238.4 tons of nickel metal in January - March quarter of 2009, having decreased by 64.8% compared with that (667.5 tons) in the same quarter of 2008.

On the other hand, the nickel industry of Japan produced 6,233 toons of nickel metal in January - March quarter of 2009 and, therefore, domestic nickel demand in January - March quarter had been fully covered by nickel metal produced in Japan as an extraordinary case. However, according to the statistics released by the Ministry of Finance, Japan imported 5,928 tons of nickel metal (unwrought nickel) in January - March quarter of 2009 and also, according to the steel statistics compiled and released by METI, Japan imported 6,992 tons of nickel metal in the first quarter of 2009.

As far as the relationship on supply and demand of nickel metal in domestic market of Japan is concerned, the supply of nickel metal produced in Japan is fully possible to cover its domestic demand and the quantity of nickel metal imported into Japan has become a surplus.
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last modified : Wed 27 May, 2009 [10:41]
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