Japanese producers increase exports

Japanese producers increase exports
Published: 13 February 2015


Japanese cement producers have increased export levels in a bid to help offset a slowdown in domestic consumption due to a slump in housing investment.

According to the Japanese Cement Association, the country’s exports rose by four per cent to 9.11Mt in 2014, marking the first increase in six years.

A Nikkei Report stated that Japanese cement makers are heightening exports to tighten the supply-demand balance. Local producers had initially expected domestic demand would increase due to reconstruction efforts following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Public works and urban development were also expected to boost demand. However, demand is reported to have fallen for the first time in four years. As well as a decline in housing starts after the consumption tax hike, a slowdown in construction work is also affecting demand, the report adds.

Sumitomo Osaka Cement had expected to export 800,000t of cement in fiscal 2014, but this level is expected to have increased by 100,000t, Akira Fujisue, director and senior managing executive officer told the Nikkei. 

Ube-Mitsubishi Cement, meanwhile, also increased exports by 450,000t from the same period a year earlier in April-September 2014. The company exports 4-5Mta of cement, more than a 20 per cent rise on a half-year basis.