TOKYO, May 25 -- Japanese shipments of aluminium products rose 28.7 percent in April from a year earlier to 177,195 tonnes, industry data showed on Tuesday.
It marked the fifth month in a row of year-on-year climbs.
But the April shipments were down 5.1 percent from March, data provided by the Japan Aluminium Association showed.
Japanese aluminium shipments have been recovering from a slump that set in after the global economic crisis of late 2008 and led automakers and other manufacturers to slash output and cut demand for the metal, which is used widely in products ranging from computers, planes and electronics to the food sector.
But aluminium industry officials remain cautious about the pace of recovery this year as Japan's economy faces persistent deflation and the construction sector remains weaker.
Aluminium stocks held at three major Japanese ports fell in April as companies likely ramped up production ahead of a long holiday period and mopped up excess inventories.
Stocks stood at 190,500 tonnes at the end of April, down 2,300 tonnes or 1.2 percent from a month earlier, data from trading house Marubeni Corp (8002.T: Quote) showed.
Japan's economy grew 1.2 percent in the first quarter, outpacing its euro zone and U.S. peers with the help of consumer spending and solid exports to Asia, but is seen slowing as the effect of government stimulus fades.