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Aluminum-Product Shipments in Japan Climb on Sales to Automakers, Exports
Aug 30, 2010 08:59CST

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

Aluminum export Aluminum import

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