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In December 2023, domestic recycled steel prices were steady at more than Yen 50,000 per tonne. During the 2023 fiscal year, market prices showed only small movements both domestically and internationally, with the price fluctuation being Yen 10,000 per tonne at most.

On January 16 this year, the Kanto tender for 15,000 tonnes was won with a bid of Yen 53,081 per tonne, which was Yen 2061 more than in the previous month. This was the highest level since March last year and the highest bid price ever recorded for the month of January.

According to the Ministry of Finance and Trade Statistics, Japan’s recycled steel exports amounted to 6,927,386 tonnes for the whole of 2023 - an increase of 9.9% over 2022 and the first annual increase in three years. The higher total was supported by increased sales to Vietnam and Taiwan, as well as to other South East Asian and South Asian countries. However, sales to South Korea were lower than in 2022.

According to the Japan Iron and Steel Federation, domestic crude steel production amounted to 86.996 million tonnes last year for a decline of 2.5% over 2022. This was the second consecutive year of decrease and marked the fifth year in a row in which production fell below 100 million tonnes.