Japan Major Steels Expand Special Steel Output

Japanese integrated steel makers increase the special steel output when they try to meet growing demand for automobile, shipbuilding and construction machinery. The special steel output represented 21.8% of total output in April-June, which was 2.1 percentage points higher than April-June 2003. The higher special steel output could continue when the integrated steels expand the output capacity of high tensile flat steel and bar and wire rod. Japanese raw steel output is likely to exceed 120 million tonnes in fiscal 2007 ending March 2008 when the output increased by 7.0% to 29.88 million tonnes in April-June from same period of 2006. The special steel output increased by 18.4% to 6.5 million tonnes in April-June. The integrated steel makers increase the special steel items including high tensile steel for automobile, shipbuilding and energy pipe and special steel bar and wire rod. They try to meet growing demand for expanding global operations of automakers and booming shipbuilders and construction and industrial machinery makers. The integrated steel makers try to expand the blast furnaces and steel output capacity to meet growing demand for high grade steel items. They also increase the ferrous scrap utilization to increase the steel output more than pig iron making capacity. The electric furnace special steel output increased by 10% to 2.12 million tonnes in April-June from same period of 2006 while the electric furnace carbon steel output increased by 3.4% to 5.91 million tonnes. The electric furnace steel makers try to meet growing demand under limited availability of ferrous scrap.

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