Japan April industrial production falls led by motor vehicles

Author: Pearl Bantillo

2020/05/29

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Japan’s industrial production in April declined, led by motor vehicles, with further contraction expected in May as the world’s third-biggest economy is in the throes of a pandemic-induced recession.

The April production index on a seasonally adjusted month-on-month basis was down 9.1% , and down 14.4% on a year-on-year basis, data from Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) showed.

The automotive industry - which is expected to slump further this year amid the coronavirus pandemic - is a major global consumer of petrochemicals, which account for more than a third of the raw material costs of an average vehicle.

Japan’s industrial output is forecast to decline by 4.1% month on month in May, before rebounding in June with a 3.9% growth.

The country had declared a state of emergency in early April in its fight to contain the rapid spread of the deadly flu-like disease that originated in China late last year. The declaration was fully lifted on 25 May.

As of 28 May, the country has more than 16,683 confirmed cases, with 867 deaths from the virus, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Visit the ICIS Coronavirus topic page for analysis of the impact on chemical markets and links to latest news.

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