Japan is the biggest buyer of aluminium in Asia, typically ratcheting up to more than 1 million tonnes per year of imports, but the industry is now experiencing a period of increasingly weak demand.
According to the latest statistics released by the Japan Aluminium Association
, imports for unwrought and unalloyed aluminium came to 1.418 million tonnes in 2019, contracting 11.2% year on year from 1.596 million tonnes in 2018.
In end-uses, demand for aluminium hit 4.18 million tonnes in 2019, compared to 4.288 million tonnes in 2018, down by 2.4% year on year.
Market sources that Fastmarkets spoke to say 2020 could see a similar fall in aluminium demand, or more, due to the coronavirus spread exacerbating a situation where prices for the...