Japan’s crude steel output stable in 2014 on higher EAF volume

Japanese crude steel production was largely flat in 2014, as electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmakers helped offset a drop in output by blast furnace operators.

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Total crude steel output inched up to 110.66 million tonnes in 2014, from 110.59 million tonnes the previous year, the Japan Iron & Steel Federation (JISF) disclosed on Thursday January 22.

EAF mills produced 25.7 million tonnes of material, up 3.1% year-on-year, while companies using the blast furnace route saw their output fall by 0.8% over the same period to 85 million tonnes.

Blast furnace share of the country’s total output has edged down to 76.8% from 77.5% in 2013, while crude steel produced via EAF now accounts for 23.2% of the figure, up from 22.5% previously.

Carbon finished steel output was steady year-on-year, at 77 million tonnes, while the production of specialty steel rose by 4.7% to 20.9 million tonnes.

In terms of carbon steel, hot rolled wide strip accounted for the highest output volume for a single product, with 45.2 million tonnes produced, up by 0.3% year-on-year.

Production of both cold rolled strip and galvanized sheet saw respective year-on-year falls of 1.4% and 1.7% to 20.2 million tonnes and 12.1 million tonnes.

Output of heavy plate inched up by 1% over the same period, to 10.7 million tonnes.

In the case of long steel products, output of light bars decreased by 3% from year-earlier levels to 9.2 million tonnes, while that of H-beam fell 3.9% to 4 million tonnes.

Production of carbon steel pipes and tubes was down 2% on the year at 4.6 million tonnes.

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