Japan steel output forecast does not reflect U.S. tariff impact: METI

FILE PHOTO: A worker checks steel coils and steel sheets at a distribution warehouse in Urayasu, east of Tokyo April 19, 2012. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s industry ministry said on Friday its steel output forecast for the second quarter does not reflect any possible impact from new U.S. import tariffs on steel as it is not clear how the move will affect global flows of the metal.

The ministry earlier on Friday said it expected Japan’s crude steel output in April-June to rise 0.9 percent from a year earlier.

“We do not know how the new duties would impact global steel markets, as it is unclear how many products will be excluded,” Yasuji Komiyama, director of the metal industries division of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, told a news conference

U.S. President Donald Trump pressed ahead last month with higher import tariffs on steel and aluminum but temporarily excluded six trade partners, including Canada, Mexico and European Union. The exemptions included most U.S. allies but not Japan.

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Aaron Sheldrick