Japanese steelmaker JFE Holdings plans to suspend operations at two of its plants amid lowering domestic steel demand and slower global economy, the company announced on Feb 12. 

 

Japan’s finished steel demand has declined impacting capacity utilizations rates for major steel mills.  

 

The steelmaker likely to idle its cold rolling mill at Keihin Steel works at Kawasaki in eastern Japan. Operations at this plant are likely to halt by the end March 2020. Keihin steel works has an annual capacity of 1.2mn mt and supplies cold rolled steel sheets for the construction activities in the Japan’s domestic market.    

 

Production of cold rolled steel and galvanized steel facilities at Chiba works in Fukuyama area will also be shut by the end March month. Chiba steel works produces steel sheets for car manufacturing and exports them to Mexico, China and Malaysia.  

 

JFE’s production cut followed the lowering of capacity by its competitor Nippon Steel in western Japan. Nippon Steel announced it will reduce capacity upto 10pc by shutting blast furnaces at Kure works in Hiroshima.

 

Among other plans, JFE steel looks to expand its capacity of special steel sheet manufacturing for electric vehicles in Kurasaki Steel mill by 2023.  

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