ROUNDUP FROM MEPS - ASIAN HOT ROLLED PLATE
Japanese output should display some improvement this year following
a decline in 2012. Purchasing should strengthen from the
construction and industrial machinery segments. However, downside
risks remain because shipbuilders continue to struggle with weak
order books for new vessels and this is reducing demand for ship
Apparent consumption of plate shrank in South Korea last year as
both production and imports contracted. Exports held up as the mills
continued to push sales abroad to compensate for a sluggish domestic
market. However, they struggled with regional competition and low
product prices. Only a minimal increase is envisaged for output and
demand in 2013. The requirements of shipyards are likely to be even
lower this year compared with the previous twelve months.
The shipbuilding industry is also depressed in China. This is
adversely affecting the output of plate makers. Total production
fell 10 percent last year, with heavy plate declining by a larger
percentage than medium plate. The outlook for 2013 is poor.
MEPS - World Steel
Outlook - Q4-2012.
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