Japan’s iron ore imports decreased considerably in June, as domestic steel mills kept output cuts under pressure from lower demand in the manufacturing sector due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to preliminary data released by the Ministry of Finance on July 19, Japan imported 6.1 million tonnes of iron ore in June, a decrease of 32% over the previous year. The value of imports decreased by 29% to 60 billion yen ($ 561 million).
The total value of iron ore imports from January to June was 514 billion yen, a decrease of 4% over the previous year.
The Ministry of Trade (Meti) has expected crude steel production to drop 3% to 17.7million tonnes in July-September compared to April-June.
According to government data, exports of steel products fell 16% from the previous year to 2.4million tonnes in June but increased by 5% to 17million tonnes in the first six months of this year. Steel products imports decreased by 18% year-on-year to about 520,000 tonnes in June, bringing the total of January / June to 3.5 million tonnes, down 19%.