Lower auto demand slows Japanese steel production


Crude steel production in Japan, the world’s third-largest producer, fell 7.4% year-on-year in 2022 on a slow recovery in auto production and weaker export demand amid a slowdown in the global economy, Reuters reported.

Production fell to 89.23 million tons for the first time in two years, the Japan Iron and Steel Federation said.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Toyota Motor fared better than most automakers in managing supply chains, but fell victim to ongoing chip shortages over the past year and repeatedly lowered monthly production targets, the report noted.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp fared better than most automakers in managing supply chains, but fell victim to ongoing chip shortages over the past year and repeatedly lowered monthly production targets.

“Domestic steel demand has been hit by repeated delays in auto production recovery, while overseas demand also weakened in the second half of the year due to high inflation and interest rate hikes in the United States and Europe,” a researcher with the association told Reuters.

“Meanwhile, Japanese steelmakers have reduced the number of blast furnaces, which means it would be difficult for Japan’s steel production to get back to the 100 million level from a supply capacity perspective,” he added.

Reuters said steel production for the October-December quarter fell 11.5% year-on-year to 21.42 million tons.

Production, which is not seasonally adjusted, fell 13.1% yoy to 6.9 million tonnes in December and down 3.8% from November, the report added.





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