Japan's steel exports fell 2.1% year on year to 3.15 million mt in June and were down 2.3% from May, latest Japan Iron & Steel Federation data showed.
A JISF official said Thursday the June data was consistent with the downtrend in Japan's exports in recent months that was likely to continue.
Japanese integrated mills have been kept busy meeting domestic demand and continue to limit acceptances of export orders, which was reflected by the fall in hot rolled coil exports in particular, the JISF official said.
HRC exports fell 7.1% on year and edged down 0.9% on month to 892,732 mt in June, while plate exports surged 61.2% on year and edged down 0.7% on month to 235,899 mt.
The JISF official attributed the year-on-year jump in plate exports to the outage at Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp's Oita plate mill since a fire in early 2017. "Plate exports were higher, but not enough to cover the drop in other item exports," he said.
Japan's steel exports to Thailand rose 10.4% on year and fell 1.6% from May to 498,265 mt in June, to China fell 1.9% on year and rose 10.1% on month to 472,551 mt and to South Korea fell 17.3% on year and were down 4.3% from May at 4561,769 mt.
To the US, exports fell 31% on year and edged down 0.2% from May to 129,220 mt.
The JISF official said that decrease was mostly in semi-finished steel exports, not overall exports.
"It may be just because of the timing of exports and not because of higher import duties imposed by the US, but we have to monitor the movement cautiously," he said.
Over January-June, Japan's steel exports totaled 18.66 million mt, down 3.2% year on year, according to the data.
Source: SP Global