Japanese crude steel output will decrease by 0.3% or 227,000 tonnes to 30.211 million tonnes for October-December compared with July-September while down by 2.2% or 666,000 tonnes compared with the same period of 2007, announced by Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry on Thursday. The output will decrease from the previous quarter for 2 consecutive quarters and represent the first year-on-year down in 12 quarters. The output will decrease by 0.4% or 129,000 tonnes compared with METI’s demand prediction.The output will keep over 30 million tonnes for 5 consecutive quarters. However, the demand is decreasing due to economic downturn caused by financial crisis. The output of converters will decrease by 100,000 tonnes and that of electric furnaces will decrease about 130,000 tonnes for October-December from July-September. Japanese steel sheet inventory increased to 4.4 million tonnes at the end of September. The crude steel output is estimated to increase by 1.9% to 122.55 million tonnes through 2008 from 2007. The annual output is expected to hit the record high for 2 consecutive years. The output will represent quarter-to-quarter down for the first time since 2001 as of October-December. Domestic demand for plate keeps strong when shipbuilders hold the construction volume enough, but the demand for other steel products is decreasing from automobiles and building constructions. The export of common and special steel products is declining due to letup in demand of developing countries.
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