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Japan's Fastener Market

by Shun Otsuki
President & Editor in Chief


Japan's exports of fasteners to South Korea decline, economic slump and yen appreciation

Exports of steel bolts from Japan to Korea (Trade Statistics of the Ministry of Finance) were negative at 777 million yen, a decrease of 24% from January to August this year, and 1185kg, a decrease of 27% from the previous year. 

Japan-Korea has started a trade friction that began with strengthened export control of Japanese semiconductor materials. Although South Korea continues to refrain from buying Japanese products in automobiles, food, apparel, and tourism, it is unlikely that exports of Japanese fasteners are declining due to similar reasons such as switching to home and other countries.

However, the sluggishness of the Korean economy, such as a decline in capital investment due to the decline in the major semiconductor industry, seems to have affected Japan's exports of fasteners to Korea. Furthermore, it can be surmised that the progress of the yen's depreciation and won's depreciation has greatly affected exports to South Korea. On May 1st it was 100 yen = 1044 won, but as of October 1st it was 1116 won.

The items that occupy the top of the fasteners exports were analyzed from the movement of steel bolts (HS code: 731815190), steel nuts (HS code: 731816900), and screws (HS code: 731815900).

Steel bolts have been in the 100 million yen range from January to March, but have been 100 million yen from April to 70 million yen to 90 million yen. All months were negative compared to the previous month. Similarly in terms of quantity, in May it recorded a significant decrease of 92%, a 50% decrease. In August, it is dull with 106% of 33% decrease.

Steel nuts decreased by 27% year-on-year to 266 million yen, and quantity decreased by 27% year-on-year to 199mm. It is almost 30 million yen in a single month, minus in all months, and last year it was in the range of 400 million to 700 million yen. The minimum amount is 29 million yen, down 58% from April. The current price is 34 million yen, down 28%.

Screws is minus 264 million yen, a 30% decrease in value, and minus 86%, a 20% decrease in quantity. In terms of a single month, it has changed from 30 million yen to 40 million yen. Only in August, it increased by 17% year-on-year to 41 million yen. Volume was negative year-on-year in all months, a cumulative 20% decrease to 86 kg.


FIJ visits DSV to strengthen exchange between fastener industry in Japan and Germany

The Fasteners Institute of Japan (FIJ) interacted with the Deutscher Schraubenverband (DSV) and local companies last October. The two parties have agreed to distribute a mutual membership list among members to build a German-Japanese cooperative relationship. It was decided that the DSV would visit Japan in 2021. The delegation will be joined by eight members including Chairman Tsubaki. The tour was held from September 29 to October 4 for six days.

At the German-Japanese exchange meeting held at the DSV office on the 30th, discussions will be held on the future cooperation between FIJ and DSV members. In hopes of a cooperative relationship between German and Japanese members, the two sides agreed to distribute the member list in product category notation, which was prepared in advance by both parties, to both members. First of all, they will build a cooperative relationship using this list.

Regarding future German-Japanese exchanges, we agreed to clarify the theme and visit each other every two years. The next time it will be held in Japan in 2021, the DSV will visit Japan. To prepare for this meeting, the FIJ decided to conduct a questionnaire to prepare a draft on themes and issues to be discussed, and submit the summary to the DSV to establish consensus between Japan and Germany.

In addition, assuming that the interests of the exchange members may differ depending on the members, FIJ wants to consider a method of forming the next exchange format in a working group unit for each theme and discussing it. And suggested.

In addition, at the exchange meeting, regarding the screw industry and human resource education of both parties, the DSV side made presentations on the issues of ISO / JIS in international standardization and the industry 4.0 of the fastener industry.

FIJ visited Schrauben Betzer GmbH & Co. KG (Rüdenscheid), Institut fur Umformtechnik der mittelstandischen Wirtschaft GmbH (Rüdenscheid) and the Altena plant of Fr. u. H. Lüling GmbH & Co. KG in six days.


Tsukiboshi expands factory in Thailand

Tsukiboshi Co., Ltd. (Ishikawa) will establish a new factory building at its Thai subsidiary TSUKIBOSHI (THAILAND) CO., LTD. (TBT). It is expected to be completed next May.
The forging facility will be relocated from the existing factory building to become the factory building mainly responsible for the forging process. TBT had installed forging equipment up to 100 tons. This time, a new 150-ton or 200-ton forging machine is scheduled to be introduced. With the exception of some long bolt products, the facility environment will be the same as that of a factory in Japan. Currently, there are some pass-throughs from Japan, but strengthening facilities will increase in-house production.

The new factory building has a building area of 2,200 square meters and the existing factory building has 3,400 square meters. The expansion will cost 150 million baht, including the introduction of new equipment. TBT turned profitable in FY2018. Sales are expected to increase by 10% year-on-year in FY2019. The company plans to increase sales by 10% in FY2022 compared to FY2019. In addition to sales in Thailand, exports to ASEAN and other countries will be strengthened. The sales company (Shanghai), which opened in China in February this year, has begun operations this spring. Sales of products imported from Japan and TBT to the Chinese market. While the Chinese automobile market is sluggish, products for medium- and large-sized motorcycles are on the rise.