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Japan’s November steel exports fall 7% on year to 2.97 mil mt

Japan’s steel exports in November decreased by 7% year on year and by 5.2% from October to 2.97 million mt, latest data released by the Japan Iron and Steel Federation showed.

Of the November exports, ordinary carbon steel totaled 1.9 million mt, down 4.3% year on year and 4.5% from October, while special steel exports fell 11.2% from a year ago and 8.3% month on month to 645,834 mt.

JISF officials in charge of trade data were not available for comment Monday.

But a Tokyo-based trader said that the stances taken by steel producers have not changed, and they are still busy meeting firm domestic demand and limiting exports. “But export drop widened in November … we understand JFE Steel’s furnace problem was also another factor [behind the] decrease in export volume,” he said.

Japan’s second largest integrated mill JFE Steel had temporary banked its No. 2 blast furnace at its Kurashiki section of West Japan Works on October 23.

It is aiming to return to pre-banked level by mid-January, and production losses are expected to reach around 500,000 mt, S&P Global Platts reported previously.

Hot-rolled coil exports in November from Mizushima customs that is close to Kurashiki, was 30,199 mt, down 45.2% year on year and 50.8% from October, according to Trade Statistics of Japan.

By export destination, Japan’s steel exports to Thailand in November fell for the first time in seven months, by 7.4% year on year and 8.4% from October to 496,917 mt.

Volumes to China were 475,403 mt, up 6% year on year but down 6.5% from October.

Japan’s steel exports to South Korea decreased by 12.2% year on year and 8.7% month on month to 438,977 mt.
Source: Platts

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