Japan produced 7.92mn mt of crude steel in January, down 3.9pc from the same month in the prior year, according to the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF).
The JISF indicated in data published on Monday that while crude steel production in the world’s third-largest steel-producing nation fell on an annual basis, it increased by 5.3pc from 7.52mn mt in December 2020.
Japan’s pig iron production declined by 7.1pc to around 6mn mt in January compared with the same month in 2020, although it improved by 6.5pc from 5.6mn mt reported in December 2020.
The federation attributed the annual decline in production to the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on demand for steel but pointed out that the monthly output continued to improve in tandem with recovering demand for steel observed since September 2020.
Of the total steel production, the output from electric arc furnaces (EAFs) stood at 1.83mn mt in January slightly above 1.80mn mt in December 2020 and 3.5pc above the EAF production in January 2020. Hot-rolled steel production last month was reported at 6.82mn mt, down 3.8pc from January 2020, but higher by 4.3pc from 6.54mn mt in the prior month.