Japan’s crude steel output down 4% in January

Japanese steelmakers churned out 4% less crude steel in January than in the corresponding month last year.

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Crude steel production in the country totalled 9.02 million tonnes during the first month of 2015, with both blast furnace and electric arc furnace (EAF) operators registering year-on-year falls, the Japan Iron & Steel Federation (JISF) disclosed late last week.

Blast furnace steelmakers recorded a 3.6% drop in output to 7.09 million tonnes, while EAF mills produced 5.3% less, at 1.92 million tonnes.

This is the fifth consecutive fall on a yearly basis since output volumes started dropping in September.

Japan’s finished steel production also fell 3.9% year-on-year to 8.07 million tonnes last month.

Carbon steel output dropped 4.3% to 6.39 million tonnes while that of speciality steel slid 2.7% to 1.68 million tonnes.

In terms of carbon steel products, hot rolled wide strip production fell 3.7% to 3.82 million tonnes, while that of cold rolled strip saw a 7.9% tumble to 1.66 million tonnes.

Galvanized sheet output fell 6.9% year-on-year to 996,100 tonnes while that of heavy plate dropped 5% to 892,500 tonnes.

Light bar output was down 9.2%, at 664,900 tonnes, while H-beam production fell 4% to 335,400 tonnes.

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