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Magnesium News 2017, September
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September 2017

Japan - Magnesium Newsletter (July-August)

The Japan Magnesium Association

13.3 inch, 1kg Dynabook released from Toshiba, which meets Military rigidness standard

(Source: Mynavi News,10 July 2017; The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, 16 July 2017)

Laptop “Dynabook UX53/D” which emphasizes further mobility was released adding onto Toshiba Dynabook series. Body thickness and weight are 15.9 mm and 1.09 kg respectively. A full charge enables to work for approximately 17 hours. While rigidness is as high as existing models, this model especially meets MIL-STD-810G (Material Procurement Standard for the U.S. Department of Defense).  UX series is light and thin as previous model, in addition, enhances portability without gimmicks such as an optical drive, transformable mechanism to tablet nor touch-panel function.

By adopting Magnesium alloy to body, high strength is achieved as well as lightweight. Outer thickness of body is 15.9 mm, which means not so much thin since existing laptops with thickness below 10 mm type are currently popular. However thanking to high stiffness, it is hard to bend even if it is gripped by one hand with display panel opened. Besides, it was qualified by MIL specification endurance test (10 items) U.S. department of defense established, high acceleration life test was cleared which verifies if it avoids future aging deterioration. Very reliable anywhere during mobile use. The size is 316mmW×227mmD×15.9mmH.

Toyohashi University of Technology developed inexpensive and high strength magnesium alloy

(Source:The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, 17 July 2017; Rare Metal News, 1 August 2017)

Professor Hiromi Miura et al, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Toyohashi University of Technology, developed low-cost and high strength Magnesium alloy. Tensile strength reached 500 Mpa which exceeded that of rare-earth added magnesium alloy. In addition, the cost will be one tenth lower than rare-earth added type by means of using conventional Magnesium alloy. It is expected to increase magnesium structural demand aiming saving weight.

DRF method (Deformation Restriction method under high pressure press) enabled inexpensive conventional Magnesium alloy to high-strengthen by dispersing needle-like Nanostructure internally. Excellent mechanical properties were performed such as 502 Mpa Tensile Strength and 6.2% Elongation at experiment basis. Cooperated with Kawamoto Heavy Industries Co., ltd (Takasago-city, Hyogo), 460 Mpa in TS was achieved at 1 meter L and 20 mm DIA long bar at pilot basis. Kawamoto is pleased to offer commercial samples shortly.

Nippon Steel & Sumikin Coated Sheet Corporation established galvalume steel plate production line in Funabashi Work

(Source:The Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, 28 July 2017)

Nippon Steel & Sumikin Coated Sheet Corporation (Chuo-Ku, Tokyo) announced on July 27 that Production line of “SGL” galvalume steel plate, which shows 3 times more corrosion resistance, would be established in Funabashi Works.
Construction is targeted to finalize during Q2 or Q3, i.e. by September, 2019. According to soaring demand of construction material such as metal roof and exterior wall, company’s internal production structure will be rebuild to respond flexibly to order trend through integration into existing Nishi-nihon Works Amagasaki. Time-matching with the reform period of continuous galvanizing facility No.2 in Funabashi Works, SGL production equipment will be integrated into the existing line. Roughly 500,000,000 JPY will be invested all told. Total 18,000 tons/M in capacity will be expected after completion.

SGL enhances corrosion resistance significantly by adding 2% Magnesium in conventional plating structure of galvalume steel plate. Continuous zinc galvanizing facility in western Japan is capable of total 30,000 tons per month with both SGL and GI, which is currently produced 10,000 tons per month.  Additional Funabashi Works capacity will be able to cope with upcoming demand fluctuation.

Domestic Magnesium Market - May, 2017

(Source: June issue of Import/Export Statistics (customs clearance basis) of METI. Compiled by The Japan Magnesium Association.)


Based on Import/Export Statistics of June 2017, magnesium metal import was total 2,066.1 tons, 18.8% significant fall on month-to-month basis for second straight month (3.4% decrease from the same month previous year), which had been in good shape but barely surpassed 2,000 tons, decreasing in both month-to-month basis and from the same month previous year basis.

Magnesium powder increased to 430.7 tons, 62.4% increase on month-to-month basis (34.8% increase) for second straight month while it tends to change in volatile.

Other products decreased to 15.9 tons, 96.6% significant decrease on month-to-month basis (92.9% decrease), falling down by 2 digit level. Possibly because desulfurization which was earlier included in other products category might have moved to powder one.  Total of 2,512.7 tons, 23.3% decrease on month-to-month basis (6.3% decrease), which broke the 3,000 tons level.

The metal category consisted of 4 products as follows: a) 1,613.0 tons of pure magnesium, 18.2%  decrease on month-to-month basis (0% increase). Imports from China fell significantly and Turkey climbed to 104.5 tons recorded highest ever;  b) 425.5 tons of die-casting alloys, 22.0% showed decrease on month-to-month basis (17.6% decrease);  c) high purity magnesium was 0 ton; d) 27.6 tons of casting alloy, 6.5% increase on month-to-month basis (249.5% increase) remaining comparatively stable.

As for the average import price of magnesium metal in June, the price of pure magnesium remained 241.1 yen per kg, 4.2 yen per kg or 1.7% lower on month-to-month basis, almost same as May.  For side note, China and Turkey import prices were 239.2 yen and 268.3 yen per kg respectively, staying 240 yen level for fourth consecutive month but slightly decreasing for second consecutive month. The price of magnesium alloys decreased to 287.8 yen per kg, 4.4 yen per kg or 1.5% down on month-to-month basis. There was no alloy import from Turkey. Alloy import from Korea was 233.1 yen per kg, 59.9 yen per kg below Chinese alloy.

As for the total amount of import from January to June 2017, magnesium metal was 16,369.6 tons (32.0% increase, from the same period previous year), magnesium powder was 1,809.1 tons (6.9% decrease) and other products was 1,155.2 tons (8.7% decrease).  The grand total amount of import from January to June showed 19,334.0 tons, 23.9% increase comparing to same period previous year, to which magnesium metal contributes significantly.


The export of magnesium in June consisted of 0.004 tons of pure magnesium, (33.3% increase), 13.1 tons of magnesium alloys, 2.1% increase on month-to-month basis (12.3% decrease), entirely to Taiwan.  3.0 tons of magnesium powder and granules only to Indonesia (59.6% increase), and other products was 0.8 tons, 152.1% increase on month-to-month basis (82.7% decrease) including 0.7 tons to China.  The grand total export was 16.9 tons, 74.3% decrease on month-to-month basis (21.0% decrease).

As for the total amount of export from January to June, pure magnesium metal remained 106.1 tons (24.3 times of that at the same period previous year), magnesium alloy metal was 66.3 tons (65.6% decrease), magnesium powder was 5.9 tons (93.7% increase) and other products was 10.7 tons (13.0% decrease).  The grand total of export from January to June was 189.0 tons (10.5% decrease).

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