On February 25, the Japan Iron & Steel Federationreleased data showing that in January, Japan's crude steel output fell 9.8%year-on-year to 8.14 million tons, a record low of 7.66 million tons in July2009, compared with 2018. Monthly production fell by 3.8%. Officials of theJapan Iron and Steel Federation said that the decline in crude steel productionduring the month was mainly due to a drop in demand, but more due to a declinein supply at the supply end due to problems with steel mill equipment.
In January, the total output of Japanese converters was 6.13million tons, down 11.6% year-on-year and 2.5% from the previous month. Theoutput of electric arc furnaces was 2.01 million tons, down 3.9% and 8.5%respectively. Japanese Steel Federation officials said that the decline inJapanese converter steel production reflects the equipment problems of Japanesesteel holding companies, but there is no specific reason for the decline inelectric steel production. The official said that the decline in electricfurnace production may be due to a decrease in January 2019 compared to thesame period last year. Data show that in January, Japan's hot-rolled coilproduction was 3.33 million tons, down 12.1% year-on-year, down 0.6% from theprevious month; H-beam production was 321,900 tons, down 5% year-on-year and0.1% quarter-on-quarter.