Japan imported 632,719 tonnes of steel products in April, falling 18.1% from a year ago, data showed from the Japan Ministry of Finance, mainly due to lower shipments from Asia countries.
Japan took a total 532,413 tonnes of finished steel from Asia last month, accounting for 84% of its total steel products imports. The volume was down 15.8% from the year-ago level, despite a 3.1% month-on-month increase from March, data showed.
Imports from its top suppliers South Korea and China fell noticeably by 14.1% and 21.8% from a year ago to 279.638 tonnes and 112.139 tonnes, respectively. s
The imported Chinese products arriving in Japan in April were mainly orders made earlier in February, when China suffered outbreak of COVID-19, some trader sources said. Shipments from China climbed by about 20% from March, as Japanese buyers were less active in purchasing in January due to intensive holidays.
Imports from China are likely to rebound quickly in the coming month as the country recovers more quickly from the pandemic than other countries, but considering Japan is still suffering the virus impact, overall demand may still be weak.
(Writing by Emma Yang Editing by Jessie Jia)
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