Crude steel production by Japanese electric furnace steel makers totaled 1.907 million tonnes in July, decreasing by 10.7% from the previous month while increasing by 16% from a year earlier. The output represented below 2 million tonnes for the first time in 3 months. The share against Japanese all crude steel production lowered by 2.1 points to 20.7% compared with June. The backgrounds are that dealers reduced steel purchase volume since steel market price was likely to decline and that electric furnaces entered seasonal output reduction in summer.Carbon steel production represented month-to-month minus for 2 months in a row. Special steel production showed the first minus in 6 months. The volumes may continue to decrease in August. Carbon steel production by electric furnaces decreased by 11.5% to 1.277 million tonnes in July from the previous month, while increased by 6% from a year earlier. Small bar output was 666,273 tonnes, 10% month-to-month minus and 3.8% year-to-year minus. H-beam decreased by 18.1% to 250,789 tonnes month-to-month and declined by 3.2% year-to-year. Rebar production became below 700,000 tonnes for the first time in 5 months. H-beam represented below 300,000 tonnes for the first time in 3 months. The demand for building construction hit bottom but steel orders haven’t recovered steadily. Special steel production decreased by 9.1% to 629,586 tonnes compared with June while increased by 43.3% from a year earlier. The output increased by about 2.5 times compared with the bottom in January-March. Special steel demand has recovered rapidly but the rebound pace is recently slowing mainly for China. Special steel output may weaken when automobile output is estimated to decrease by the end of Japanese government’s stimulus measure for eco-cars at the end of September.
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