Ordinary carbon steel demand from Japan's construction sector in July is expected to fall by 4.4% year on year, but rangebound from June at 1.65 million mt, a forecast released Monday by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, or MLIT showed.
Of the forecast demand for July, sections demand is expected to rise 1% year on year and up 11.4% from June to 390,000 mt, while those for small bars is expected to decrease by 8.2% year on year and by 8.3% month on month to 550,000 mt.
MLIT officials in charge of the forecast were unavailable for comment Tuesday, but a Tokyo-based construction steel trader said the demand figure of 1.65 million mt is higher than the monthly average in April-June.
"We don't worry about the year-on-year drop. We expect it [demand] to be increased from summer," he said.
Monthly demand of ordinary steel demand from the construction sector is expected to average 1.58 million mt over April-June, the MLIT data showed.
Japan produced total 336,700 mt of H-beams in April, up 8.3% year on year but down 7% from March. Output of small bars stood at 744,900 mt, up 0.9% year on year but down 0.2% from March, latest data from the Japan Iron & Steel Federation showed.