According to the latest data released by the JapaneseMinistry of Finance, Japanese steel imports fell 2.1% year-on-year in July, up4.7% from the previous month to 688,000 tons. A Tokyo trader said that this isthe second consecutive month of decline in steel imports. He explained that thedecline in plate imports was mainly due to the strong demand for platebuildingfor domestic shipbuilding in Korea, which has reduced the export of mediumplates, and Korea is Japan's main supplier of plate.
In July, Japan's imports of steel from South Korea fell by11.9% to 300,000 tons, but up 2% from the previous month. Imports from Chinafell by 25.3% and 10.9% to 111,000 tons respectively. Japan’s imports fromSoutheast Asian countries increased by 29.1% and 45.3% to 31,000 tons,respectively, year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter.
Another Tokyo trader said that the decline in imports wasmainly due to China's strong domestic steel demand and reduced exports. Importsfrom Southeast Asian countries have increased significantly since last year,but the increase last month was not obvious, so the sharp increase in July isprobably due to the different time of arrival of steel.
At the same time, data showed that the average import priceof Japanese steel in July was 129,374 yen / ton ($1,176 / ton), which was 2,942yen / ton lower than the average price in June. The Japan Iron and SteelFederation will release monthly monthly import and export data for itssub-products on August 31.