Japan Dec rolled aluminum shipments fall 3.2% on year to 152,526 mt
Tokyo (Platts)--25Jan2013/632 am EST/1132 GMT
Japan's rolled aluminum shipments in December 2012 fell 3.2%
year on year to 152,526 mt, Japan Aluminum Association said Friday.
Total sheet shipments, including those to the domestic market and
overseas, were 88,629 mt, up 4.2% year on year, thanks to stable demand for
cansheets for non-alcoholic beverages, according to the association's data.
Cansheet shipments to domestic end-users were 30,468 mt, up 1.8%
year on year.
Sheet exports -- half comprised of cansheets -- were 15,954 mt, up 16.7%
year on year.
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Total extrusion shipments were 63,897 mt, down 11.8%. Last year,
shipment levels were unusually high, as production had shifted to Japan from
Thailand temporarily on the back of Thai plants closing because of floods,
the association said.
Extrusion exports were 603 mt, down 10.8%.
2012 SHIPMENTS DOWN 0.5%, BUT 2013 OUTLOOK BETTER
Japan's rolled aluminum shipments for calendar 2012 totaled 1.98 million
mt, down 0.5% from 2011, the association said. The 2012 shipments were the
lowest since 1.74 million mt marked in 2009.
Shunichi Shiraishi, the association chairman, during a news conference
in Tokyo on Friday, said he was hopeful about Japanese demand improving in
"Demand has slumped from the peak in 1997 [a record high of 2.54
million mt of shipments]... Current conditions are challenging, but I believe
it will be better this year, better than last year," he said.
Shiraishi pointed out that global automobile output was increasing every
"Currently, automotive demand is bad. In 2012, automotive demand in
Europe had fallen, but there was positive growth in the US and China, so the
overall car output volume is increasing. This is the trend which the aluminum
industry will be able to take advantage of," he said.
"As for construction, there is little sign of actual progress in
earthquake reconstruction works, but from now on, there will be more focus on
reconstruction and results in more factories, facilities building up, which
will trigger construction-related aluminum demand... "The consumption tax
hike in 2014 will also fuel demand for housing and other goods [before it is
implemented]," he said.
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--Edited by Geetha Narayanasamy, firstname.lastname@example.org