Crude steel production in Japan could decline to up to 10pc in 2020 compared to the previous year, predicts the Japan Iron and Steel Federation (JISF). Demand is also expected to decrease by double digits, a little over 10pc on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sluggish construction and housing sectors and a lack of capital investment impacted demand. Auto production also took a hit, pulling down metal consumption in Japan.
In 2021, production could increase from the prior year, although at a gradual pace. Demand for warehouses related logistics facilities could be strong. The auto sector would recover, aided by external demand. The Japanese economy is expected to recover at a moderate pace from the prior year. The economy had already started to suffer since late 2019 amid the US-China trade war.