The Shipbuilders’ Association of Japan has forecast that steel consumed by its members during April 2019-March 2020 will reach 3.18 million mt, up 3% year on year.
Total steel consumption forecast for fiscal 2018, which ends this March, was 3.08 million mt, 11.9% lower compared with a year ago.
SAJ officials were not available for comment on Tuesday, but a Tokyo-based trader said the recent increase in new vessel orders has supported and lifted steel consumption, resulting in a higher forecast. “If shipbuilders can continue to receive more orders, actual steel consumption may rise higher,” he said.
Japanese shipbuilders received 8.6 million gross tons, up 13.8% year on year, of new vessel orders for export during April 2018-January 2019, according to the Japan Ship Exporters’ Association.
Within the forecast for total steel consumption, plate consumption is expected to rise 3.3% year on year at 2.76 million mt, while sections is expected to reach 250,032 mt, up 2.1% year on year, according to the Shipbuilders’ Association of Japan.
Ordinary steel orders booked by Japanese shipbuilders during April-December 2018 were 2.83 million mt, up 3.5% year on year, according to the latest data by the Japan Iron & Steel Federation.