Steel orders in Japan decreased 5.7% in 2008 to 67.24 million tons, with a 6.2% decrease in ordinary steel orders to 53.70 million tons.
By market sector, ordinary steel product orders were down 6.7% in the construction sector as the downturn in building construction in Japan caused orders in this category to fall 8.6% following a year-on-year increase in 2007.
In the manufacturing sector, orders fell rapidly following the September global financial crisis. 2008 orders were lower from the automobile, industrial machinery and electrical machinery industries, the primary sources of demand.
Overall, domestic demand for steel from manufacturers decreased 4.3% to 25.92 million tons.
Orders for specialty steel products decreased 3.3% from the record high level in 2007 to 13.54 million tons, the first decline in seven years. This decrease was attributable mainly to lower orders for steel used in motor vehicles and steel for further processing, which account for the majority of specialty steel demand, as the economy weakened.
Source: Japan Iron & Steel Federation
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