Kobe Steel’s output of steel decreased in the first nine months of FY2011, in comparison to the same period FY2010. Steel demand in Japan decreased in the first quarter of fiscal 2011 due to the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Demand was also affected by the sluggish overseas market and high yen. Through negotiations with its customers, Kobe Steel was able to raise prices of steel products, in comparison to the same period last year, to reflect higher raw material prices.

Sales of steel castings and forgings decreased in comparison to the same period in the previous year due to lower sales prices to the shipbuilding industry.

As a result, the value of sales in the first nine months of fiscal 2011 increased 3.2% in comparison to the same period in the previous year to 642.3bn yen (US$8.44bn). Ordinary income declined 18.3bn yen ($181.3M), in comparison to the same period in the previous year, to 3.6bn yen ($47.3M) due to lower sales volume and higher raw material prices.

Sales for the Group as a whole, which includes welding, Al & Cu, Ti, Machinery, Cranes, Eco-Solutions and others, amounted to 1409.5bn yen ($18.52bn) for the first nine months indicating that steel represented 45.5% of turnover compared with 45.9% for the same period 2010.

The average sale price (domestic + export) for steel products in the first half FY2011 was 88600yen/t ($1164/t metric) up 8.9% on the same period FY2010. An average price of 89000 yen/t ($1169.5/t) is forcast for the year.

Output of crude steel reached 5.4Mt in the first nine months of FY 2011, down 5.2% on the same period 2010 and is forcast to reach 7.2Mt for the full year. Sales at 4.54Mt for 9-months are expected to reach 6.05Mt for the year of which 26% will be exported.