Japan produced 2.17mn mt of hot-rolled stainless steel products in 2020, down 18.6pc from the prior year.
Production of chromium-based series products was reported at 821,328mt, down 21pc from the year prior. Production of chromium-nickel series stood at 842,969mt, down 16.9pc from the prior year. Chromium-nickel-molybdenum series’ production was reported at 268,615mt, down 15.4pc.
Stainless steel bars’ production was reported at 126,433mt, a decrease of approximately 21.0pc from 2019. Japan produced 215,252mt stainless steel pipes which is 29.5pc less from the prior year; while output of stainless steel plates and strips was reported at 1.61mn mt, decrease of nearly 17pc.
Japanese economy in 2020 shrunk 4.8pc, marking its first annual dip in almost a decade. Reports suggest that the beginning of the new year could be rough too, as COVID-19 continues to hurt consumption in the country.
Japan suffered a poor Q2 (June quarter) as a result of strict lockdown which led to a steep recession. This affected several sectors as it hampered both production and consumption. Their economy recovered towards the end of 2020 as exports improved.