Aug 27（bloomberg）--Japan's shipments of rolled-aluminum products gained 7.8 percent in July, expanding for the eighth straight month, as sales to domestic automakers and exports to Asia increased.
Supplies to domestic and export markets gained to 179,619 metric tons from 166,610 tons a year earlier, the Japan Aluminium Association said in a statement today. The pace of expansion slowed from 14 percent in June.
Toyota Motor Corp., Japan's largest carmaker, increased its domestic sales forecast this month to 1.97 million vehicles from an earlier estimate of 1.92 million for the current fiscal year. The government's payment of subsidies to buyers of fuel- efficient models has boosted demand, leading to higher shipments of aluminum product to the industry, said Koji Iida, head of statistics at the association.
"At the moment, our industry is still benefitting from the stimulus program," Iida said today in Tokyo. The government plans to end car-subsidy payments by the end of September, which may damp sales in following months, he said.
Aluminum product shipments to the auto sector jumped 27 percent to 25,051 tons in July, the highest level since October 2008. Exports also climbed 22 percent to 17,981 tons, led by demand from China and Southeast Asia, Iida said.
Members of the association include Furukawa-Sky Aluminum Corp., Kobe Steel Ltd. and Nippon Light Metal Co.
Details of output, shipments and inventories are as follows:
July 2010 June 2010 July/June July Y/Y
OUTPUT 181,270 178,734 +1.4 +8.9
Flat-rolled 113,529 112,084 +1.3 +8.9
Extruded 67,741 66,650 +1.6 +8.9
SHIPMENTS 179,619 179,941 -0.2 +7.8
Flat-rolled 111,970 112,886 -0.8 +6.7
Extruded 67,649 67,055 +0.9 +9.7
INVENTORY 80,797 79,270 +1.9 -0.9
Flat-rolled 69,829 68,233 +2.3 +1.5
Extruded 10,968 11,037 -0.6 -13.7