Aluminum Shipments by Japan Drop Second Month on Auto Sales

Japan’s shipments of rolled-aluminum products dropped 2.5 percent in September, the second month of decline, as demand from the auto industry weakened after the government ended subsidy payments for fuel-efficient models.

Supplies to domestic and export markets decreased to 158,835 metric tons last month from 162,913 tons a year earlier, the Japan Aluminium Association said in a report today.

The decline was led by the auto sector as vehicle sales dropped 3.4 percent in Japan last month because of an end to the government subsidy. Shipments of flat-rolled aluminum products to the industry slumped 9.4 percent in September.

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:

================================================================
             Sept 2012             Month/Month   Year/Year
================================================================
                                       (%)          (%)
OUTPUT        162,137                +12.5         -0.4
 Flat-rolled   96,601                +17.2         +0.9
 Extruded      65,536                 +6.3         -2.3
SHIPMENTS     158,835                 +6.7         -2.5
 Flat-rolled   93,767                 +7.7         -1.5
 Extruded      65,068                 +5.1         -3.9
INVENTORY      53,577                 +6.4         -0.2
 Flat-rolled   42,693                 +6.9         +3.2
 Extruded      10,884                 +4.5        -11.8
================================================================
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