The primary consumers of aluminium in Asia are Japan and Korea, with the former having annual demand of up to 1.8 million tonnes, and Korea up to 1 million tonnes.
But the aluminium market in Japan seems to have shrunk in terms of demand this year, according to market participants.
Japan’s imports of primary aluminium declined by 14% year-on-year to around 931,000 tonnes during January-August this year, according to the Japanese Aluminium Association.
Meanwhile, aluminium imports slumped by 2% year-on-year to 1.5 million tonnes in 2018-19.
“The aluminium market this year in Japan has grown negatively, due to the fall in exports from the major automobile sector, and perhaps a global demand for cars has slumped,” a Singapore-based trader said.
Other market participants, both Japan-based and Singapore-based traders, attributed the overall tumble in automobiles to the US-China trade fallout and Japan-Korea trade war.
“Since the trade war started, end consumer demand for primary aluminium became weak...