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Exports totalled 3.85 million tonnes in March, down by just 0.3% from a year earlier, according to figures released by the Japan Iron & Steel Federation (JISF) on Tuesday April 28.
Shipments to South Korea fell 21.4% to 601,870 tonnes, while those to China dipped by 8.8% to 507,912 tonnes. Exports to Thailand slid 11.8% to 434,922 tonnes, according to the JISF figures.
Taiwan was the only major importer of Japanese iron and steel products to see an increase in shipments last month. Japanese exports to the island surged by nearly 36%, to 318,685 tonnes.
Semi-finished steel comprised 398,363 tonnes of Japan’s total exports last month, a 26.6% drop.
Shipments of speciality steel fell 5.2% to 760,226 tonnes, but those of finished carbon steel increased by almost 7% to 2.57 million tonnes.
Hot rolled wide strip exports increased by 17% to 1.12 million tonnes, while those of heavy plate rose 13% to 276,127 tonnes. Shipments of sections were up by 25.2%, at 99,143 tonnes.
Galvanised sheet shipments fell by 10.6% to 313,058 tonnes, as did those of cold rolled wide strip, by 6.2%, to 244,326 tonnes.
Japan’s iron and steel exports were largely unchanged in March on a year-on-year basis, even though shipments to most of the country’s main importing destinations dropped.