Business Monitor International

Japan Metals Report

Published 12 February 2014

  • 53 pages
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Japan Metals Report

BMI View : Japan's metal industry is set for slight growth over the coming years, driven by continued reconstruction efforts from the earthquake over three years ago. In addition, the government is pursuing stim ulus measures which should give a boost to construction industries. However, given our bearish view on steel prices, as well as the relatively high costs of production in Japan, there will only be modest growth as the economy nears saturation levels.

Over the long term we expect production and consumption trends to fall back to low single figures, in line with growth forecasts for the Japanese economy as a whole. Japan remains one of the largest producers and consumers of these metals, but faces a declining share of world output and demand, as China and up-and-coming India rapidly increase production and consumption in most metals.

Although steel prices have dipped since the start of 2012, we expect to see a slight rebound in 2014. We expect steel production to rebound on the back of increased demand as construction efforts get underway, but it will be short-lived, with production growth experiencing a steady decline from 2014-2016.

Overall, we expect production of refined metals to outpace growth in demand, leading to an output surplus over the coming years. Indeed, we expect Japan to become a larger net nickel exporter from 2014. We therefore expect Japan's exports of refined metals to increase, with the primary export market being China, a market we expect to remain reliant on imported metals, at least in the short- to medium-term.

Flat Lining Growth
Japan - Steel Output (kt)

Our forecasts are based on the premise that the Japanese economy will slowly recover from recession and the 2011 earthquake, and will then continue its pre-crisis trend of slow growth. Consequently, there are downside risks to our forecasts depending on the performance of the wider economy. If the country shows signs of a slower than expected recovery we will consider...

Table of Contents

BMI Industry View
Industry Forecast
Steel: Headwinds Beckon, But Collapse Not Near
Table: Japan - Steel Production & Consumption (kt, Unless Stated Otherwise)
Table: Japan - Historical Steel Production, Consumption & Trade (kt, Unless Stated Otherwise)
Aluminium: Modest Growth As Sector Recovers
Table: Japan - Refined Aluminium Production & Consumption Forecasts ('000 tonnes, unless stated otherwise)
Copper: Production On Stronger Support
Table: Japan - Refined Copper Production & Consumption Forecasts (kt, unless stated otherwise)
Regulatory Development
Table: Japan - Political Outlook
Commodities Forecast
Commodity Strategy
Aluminium: Continued Short-Term Weakness
Copper: Recent Strength Doesn't Change Our View
Nickel: Recent Strength To Subside
Zinc: Price Momentum To Continue
Table: Select Commodities - Performance & BMI Forecasts
Commodities Forecast
Table: BMI Steel Forecast
Short-Term Outlook
Core View
Global Steel Glut To Persist
Production: Rationalisation In The Long Term
Consumption: Growth Decelerating
Excessive Chinese Exports
Growing Arbitrage Between East & West
Risks To Price Outlook
Table: Steel Data & Forecasts
Table: Global Steel Prices By Region & Product, US$/tonne (ave)
Competitive Landscape
Table: Japan - Largest Listed Metal Companies
Company Profile
Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal
Table: Nippon Steel - Financial Data
JFE Holdings
Table: JFE Holdings - Financial Data
Cross Checks

The Japan Metals Report has been researched at source, and features latest-available data for steel, aluminium and other major globally-traded commodities. Our analysis covers all primary indicators, including production, exports and price, with our forecasts underpinned by Business Monitor International (BMI)'s macroeconomists global economic outlook. The report analyses trends and prospects and critically evaluates latest industry news, trends and regulatory developments in Japan.

BMI's Japan Metals Report provides industry professionals and strategists, sector analysts, business investors, trade associations and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on the metals industry in Japan.

Key Benefits

  • Benchmark BMI's independent metals industry forecasts for Japan to test other views - a key input for successful budgeting and strategic business planning in the Japan metals market.
  • Target business opportunities and risks in Japan through our reviews of latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major projects and investments.
  • Exploit the latest competitive intelligence and company profiles on your competitors and peers.


BMI Industry View

Summary of BMI's key forecasts and industry analysis, covering metals production and prices, plus analysis of landmark company developments and key changes in the regulatory environment.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of the state's metals sector, business environment, politics and economics, which carefully evaluates the short- and medium-term issues facing the industry.

Global Metals Market Overview

Global demand, supply and price forecasts for steel and aluminium, as well as gold, copper and tin, drawing on both our industry expertise and our macroeconomic and financial market team's long-term global demand forecasts and shorter-term market views.

Industry Forecasts

Historic data series and forecasts to end-2018 for all key industry indicators (see list below) supported by explicit assumptions, plus analysis of key downside risks to the main forecast.

Production (`000 tonnes, US$bn), consumption (`000 tonnes, US$bn), exports (`000 tonnes, US$bn); prices (US$/tonne), and growth (%).

Macroeconomic Forecasts

BMI forecasts to end-2018 for headline country macroeconomic indicators, including real GDP growth (%), GDP per capita (US$), population (mn), industrial production index (% y-o-y average) and unemployment (% of labour force).

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'An essential, multi-faceted research tool. BMI’s thorough understanding of the major market players enables an informed – and informative – review of the sector’s actual performance, together with useful insights into current industry issues, which are topped-off with detailed and invaluable forecasts of industry and macroeconomic trends.’

Senior Research Analyst, ABC International Bank plc