Crude steel output in Japan, the world’s third biggest producer, fell 7.4% in 2022 from the previous year due to a slow recovery in automobile production and weaker export demand amid a slowdown in the global economy, Reuters reported.
Output dropped for the first time in two years to 89.23m tonnes, The Japan Iron and Steel Federation said.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Toyota Motor fared better than most car makers in managing supply chains, but it fell victim to the prolonged chip shortage last year, cutting monthly production targets repeatedly, the report noted.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp fared better than most car makers in managing supply chains, but it fell victim to the prolonged chip shortage last year, cutting monthly production targets repeatedly.
“Domestic steel demand was hit by repeated delays in automobile 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 at the federation told Reuters.
“Meanwhile, the Japanese steelmakers have been reducing the number of blast furnaces which means it would be difficult for Japan’s steel output to bounce back to 100m tonnes level from the supply capacity point of view even if demand picks up,” he added.
Reuters said steel production for the October to December quarter slid 11.5% from a year earlier to 21.42m tonnes.
Output, which is not seasonally-adjusted, fell 13.1% in December from a year earlier to 6.9m tonnes and decreased 3.8% from November, the report added.