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Iron Ore Imports by Japan Surged 7% in April
May 31, 2017 10:23CST
The country imported 11.393 million tonnes of iron ore in April ’17.


ScrapMonster Author

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): According to preliminary trade statistics released by the Ministry of Finance, the Japanese iron ore imports surged higher significantly during the month of April this year. The average price of imports too was up during the month.

The country imported 11.393 million tonnes of iron ore in April ’17. This is significantly higher by 7% in comparison with the previous year. Japan’s iron ore imports had totaled 10.647 million tons in April last year. When matched with the prior month, the imports edged higher by 63%. The Japanese imports had totaled 10.722 million tonnes during March this year. This is the first month of the year that the imports have registered year-on-year growth. The imports had declined by 1.7%, 7.9% and 5.3% respectively during the initial three months of 2017. The cumulative imports during the initial four-month period of the current year have declined by almost 1.9% when compared with 2016. The imports totaled 41.8 million tonnes in Jan-Apr ’17 as against 42.644 million tonnes during the corresponding four-month period in 2016.

The table below provides Japan’s yearly iron ore import data over the past few years:-

Calendar Year

Imports (Tonnes)









The import prices during April this year averaged at 8,056 Yen per tonne, considerably higher by 37.4% over the previous year. It must be noted that the average import price in April 2016 was around 5,846 Yen per tonne. The average price has increased during April after declining marginally during the previous month. Also, this is the first time since August 2015 that the average prices have crossed 8,000 Yen per tonne.

The table below provides the country’s average ore import prices during recent years:-

Calendar Year

Avg Price

(Yen per tonne)













Meantime, the data released by the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF) suggests that iron production by the country dropped marginally during the initial quarter of the year. The output totaled 19.708 million tonnes during Jan-Mar ’17, slightly lower by 1.8% when compared with 19.708 million tonnes produced during the first quarter of 2016. The production remained more or less flat when matched with the Oct-Dec ’16 quarter. Also, monthly output during March this year witnessed yearly decline of 2.7%. The iron production by the country had totaled 81.011 million tonnes and 80.186 million tonnes during 2015 and 2016 respectively.

Also, Japanese crude steel production edged higher marginally by 1.5% during Q1 this year. The production climbed higher by 1.5% from 25.839 million tonnes in Q1 last year to 26.228 million tonnes in Q1 ’17. Going by the current rate, JISF estimates the annual production to total 104.912, almost flat when matched with the previous year. It must be noted that Japan’s crude steel output had totaled 105.134 million tonnes and 104.772 million tonnes in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

iron ore imports

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