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Japan Special Steel Demand Forecast For Q1-2013
= Demand from both domestic consumption and exports is to rise on a forecast that Sino/Japan trades will improve =
As briefly reported earlier in the TEX Report's issue of December 28, 2012, according to the lecture by The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan, held at the Special Steel Club on December 27, 2012, demand forecast for special steel products in Japan during the Q1 (January - March) of 2013 is as per the tables attached to the article in the said issue.

Namely, the forecasted demand on a monthly basis during the Q1 (January - March) of 2013 of special steel products in Japan is, <> for domestic sales 1,004,300 tons, <> for exports: 531,900 tons, totaling to 1,536,200 tons, i.e. up 6.1% in domestic sales, up 10.0% in exports and up 7.4% in total, all compared to the most recently estimated figures for the Q4 (October - December) of 2012. Compared to the year-ago quarter, the Q1 (January - March) of 2012, the forecasted demand for the Q1 of 2013 is down 11.4%.

The forecasted increase in demand for domestic sales is based on the prospect of (i) recoveries in output volume after consumers' successful inventory control of their products, (ii) a full-scale demand rise for the restoration from the Earthquake in Northern Japan, and (iii) the forecasted demand rise from automobile sectors, while the increase in demand for the exports is based on (i) the stably good demand from energy plant construction sectors, (ii) prospect that Sino/Japan trades will be somehow restored, and (iii) the weakening yen currency.

However, things may not be so simple. Demand from the restoration work might not be of immediate help in a big scale, in addition, the uncertainty of world economy may continue if not aggravated.

Inventory level of all the special steel products as of end-October was 1,593,000 tons, meaning that the inventory/monthly-consumption ratio as of end-October was 0.993 months, a little down from end-September. The inventory level of bearing steel, mechanical structural carbon steel stayed still high, while that of stainless steel and hi-tension steel was more or less proper. It is notable also that imports of special steel products, mainly from China, are keeping a high level of volume.
last modified : Thu 17 Jan, 2013 [10:33]
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