Japan’s crude steel production in September declined by 19.3pc to 6.48mn mt from Sept 2019. Output in the country decreased for the seventh month as the COVID-19 pandemic affected demand, according to data released by the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF).
Compared to August, production increased by 0.6pc as industrial activities rebound, especially in the auto sector.
Daily crude steel production in September grew by 3.9pc to 216,000mt from 208,000mt in August. In the July-Sep period, Japan’s crude steel output stood at 18.98mn mt, down by 22.7pc from the prior-year period.
While in the April-Sep period (H1), it decreased by 26.8pc to 37.10mn mt from H1 FY2020, the lowest since 1968, as top Japanese steel producers – Nippon Steel Corp and JFE Steel – temporarily shut several blast furnaces in April-July.
Production of ordinary steel in September stood at 5.14mn mt, down by 16.7pc from the prior year and by 2.6pc from the prior month, while special steel output dropped by 28.1pc from the prior-year period but increased by 14.9pc from August.
Total hot-rolled steel (ordinary steel and special steel) output stood at 5.89mn tons, down by 16pc from the prior year and by 0.3pc from August, a decline for the twenty-seventh month.
In July-Sep, the total hot-rolled steel production declined by 21.2pc to 17.07mn mt, while in H1, it fell by 25pc to 33.18mn mt.
Production of hot-rolled ordinary steel in September stood at 4.69mn mt, down by 14.3pc from the year prior and by 2.7pc from August. In July-Sep, it was 13.97mn mt, down 17.8pc, while in H1, it decreased by 21.5pc to 27.24mn mt from the prior-year period.
Special hot-rolled steel output declined by 22.5pc to 1.15mn mt from the prior year but rose by 10.6pc from August. In July-Sep, it stood at 3.09mn mt, down 33.4pc, and in H1, it fell by 37.8pc to 5.94mn mt from the prior-year period.
JFE Steel has restarted its blast furnace in Fukuyama in mid-September to cater to the recovering demand, as per media reports, while Nippon Steel also plans to re-ignite its Kimitsu blast furnace in November.
Japan’s pig iron production in September stood at 4.64mn mt, down by 24pc from the prior year and by 2.6pc from August, indicating a decline for the seventh month.
In July-Sep, the output fell by 27.8pc to 13.79mn mt, while in April-Sep, it decreased by 29.4pc to 27.28mn mt from the prior-year period.