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Aluminum Shipments by Japan Expand as Auto Demand Improves

Shipments of rolled-aluminum products by Japanese fabricators to domestic and overseas markets expanded 3.6 percent in September, the third straight month of increase, as demand from automakers recovered.

Volume rose to 164,532 metric tons last month from 158,835 tons a year earlier, the Japan Aluminium Association said in a report today. Demand from the auto industry expanded for the first time in 14 months as consumers rushed to buy vehicles before the government raises the sales tax to 8 percent next April from 5 percent, it said.

Members of the association include UACJ Corp., which was created through the merger of Furukawa-Sky Aluminum Corp. and Sumitomo Light Metal Industries Ltd., Japan’s largest and second-biggest aluminum mills. Details of output, shipments and inventories are as follows:

             September 2013        Month/Month   Year/Year
                                       (%)          (%)
OUTPUT        167,602                +17.9         +3.4
 Flat-rolled   98,624                +22.2         +2.1
 Extruded      68,978                +12.3         +5.3
SHIPMENTS     164,532                +10.4         +3.6
 Flat-rolled   95,624                +10.2         +2.0
 Extruded      68,908                +10.7         +5.9
INVENTORY      53,860                 +5.8         +0.5
 Flat-rolled   43,073                 +7.0         +0.9
 Extruded      10,787                 +1.3         -0.9

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