Crude steel output from Japan is set to drop below 80mn mt in FY2021, according to Eiji Hashimoto, President of Nippon Steel.
Hashimoto is also the new chairman of the Japan Iron and Steel Federation. He predicted a slump in crude steel production while speaking at a news conference on June 16.
Japan produced 98.43mn mt of crude steel in the 2019 financial year, which was already down by 4.3pc from the previous year. Hashimoto said he personally feels that production will drop by 35mn mt in the first half of FY2021.
He also said that consolidation of the steel industry is not the answer to defy slumping demand in global markets caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to him, the real way to deal with the situation is improving management mmeasures, such as cutting down surplus production capacity.
He said, “Our biggest threat is China,” referring to Chinese steelmakers increasing production to meet demand in both, domestic and international markets, following the lifting of the lockdown put in place due to COVID-19.