Nippon Steel said it ended production at its historic Kure manufacturing complex in western Japan last month after 72 years of operation, ahead of plans to close the facilities permanently in response to falling domestic demand and rising import competition.

Japan’s largest steelmaker announced early in 2020 it would close the 130 hectare Setouchi Works Kure complex which employed 3,300 people at that time, and ceased operating the plant’s blast furnaces in 2021.

The company said it would dismantle all Kure facilities over a decade in consultation with the local government.

Nippon Steel said it had been forced to reduce production capacity as its customers, including vehicle manufacturers, have shifted production overseas. The company produces automotive components including crankshafts, transmission and suspension components and chassis and body parts. It supplies steel to ship building, railways, construction and heavy machinery makers.

Nippon Steel now has 11 blast furnaces in Japan with capacity of 50m tons of crude steel per year.

The company also revealed plans to cease operations at a blast furnace in Kashima, in Ibaraki Prefecture, by early 2025 which would reduce capacity to 40m tons.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Other Japanese steel makers have also been affected by falling demand including JFE Holdings which last month halted operations at a blast furnace in Kanagawa Prefecture, leaving it with just seven in the country.

Steel producers in Japan are increasingly focused on producing higher margin steel such as low carbon and high tensile and also electrical steel while reducing output of general purpose material.