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Total imports rose by 31.2% to 792,119 tonnes, with those for carbon finished steel alone moving up by 28.6% to 406,566 tonnes, according to figures released late last week by the Japan Iron & Steel Federation (JISF).

The steep increase came after a slowdown in August, when imports were up by only 0.3% year-on-year.

Hot rolled wide strip was the most-imported carbon steel product, at 150,848 tonnes, up 51.5% in the year.

A similar rise of 51.3% was registered in galvanized sheet imports, which reached 76,144 tonnes. Shipments of heavy plate imports increased by 60.1% to 48,156 tonnes.

Cold rolled wide strip posted a 9.2% drop in volumes to 67,217 tonnes, however.

Special steel imports, which include stainless steel and alloy steel, surged by 63% to 75,621 tonnes, while imports of ferro-alloy products rose by 60.7% to 203,998 tonnes.

In terms of countries, South Korea accounted for 337,770 tonnes of shipments, an increase of 35.7%, while China shipped 173,258 tonnes, up 50%.

Imports from Taiwan dipped by 4.4%, to 92,902 tonnes.