JAPAN STEEL MARKET ROUNDUP FROM MEPS INTERNATIONAL LTD
Japanese steelmakers kept selling values
relatively stable, in July. Domestic buyers, for hot rolled coil, held off
making purchases as they anticipated price reductions in the near future. Mills
are trimming output due to elevated inventory levels. Export offers declined
because of fierce competition from Chinese suppliers.
Import offers of commodity plate have decreased. Sales to the construction
sector remained subdued. A surge in ship orders was recorded, ahead of the
implementation of new regulations, for vessels ordered after July. These policy
changes should benefit the steelmakers in the future.
Cold rolled coil inventories continued to be bloated. Demand from the automotive
manufacturers was weak. Meanwhile, export volumes of coated coil were down,
year-on-year. The hike in consumption tax, initiated in April 2014, is still
depressing vehicle sales.
Inventory levels for structural sections were satisfactory and sales volumes
increased. Selling figures are likely to be stable or down in the near term
because of falling scrap costs and reduced seasonal demand from the construction
sector, over the summer period.
Rebar customers are reluctant to pay more while scrap costs are reducing. Demand
from the building industry is slowing. Meanwhile, merchant bar consumption from
the civil engineering sector is forecast to increase in the fiscal year 2015.
Steel Review - July Issue
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