Japan crude steel output at lowest in 51 years
Japan’s crude-steel production fell to its lowest level in 51 years in 2020 due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Data from the Japan Iron and Steel Federation shows that the country produced 83.19 million tons of crude steel last year.
That’s down 16 percent from 2019, marking a decline for the 6th consecutive year.
Output was lower than in 2009, shortly after the global financial crisis.
Demand for steel materials from automakers and the building-construction industry was sluggish last year.
Output is currently picking up, on a recovery in automobile production. Major steel manufacturers have been re-starting some blast furnaces to meet the rising demand.
But federation officials warn the expansion may not be sustained, in light of a resurgence in the number of coronavirus infections.