Japan’s Kobe Steel Group (Kobelco) expects its steel production in the full year 2020 (ending March 31, 2021) to rise to 5.80mn mt from the earlier forecast of 5.65mn mt.
The company expects automotive production in Japan to improve despite the global chip shortage, leading to increased steel demand. It also noted that demand for aluminum can stock has been strong and FY2020 sales should surpass FY2019 levels by 11,000mt.
In the third quarter of FY2020, ended December 31, 2020, the company produced 1.65mn mt of crude steel, up by 2.4pc from the same period a year ago. Steel sales accounted for 1.34mn mt, up 1pc from the prior-year period.
The firm’s aluminum rolled product sales stood at 73,000mt in Q3 FY20, up by 2.8pc from the same quarter in the previous fiscal. Rolled copper sales trended flat at 14,000mt while the sale of copper tubes fell by 18pc to 16,000mt in the same period under comparison.
Kobelco’s net sales in Q3 FY20 accounted for JPY1.21tn ($11.4bn), down 14pc from JPY1.38tn in Q3 FY19. The company posted a net income of JPY3.8bn, almost half against JPY7.2bn in the same quarter last fiscal.