Japan's steel output will rise only 0.2% in Q1 2013, Meti says

Japanese crude steel output in the first quarter next year is expected to only slightly bounce back after falling to its lowest level in six quarters in the final three months of 2012.

Crude steel output will edge up by a mere 0.2% from the October-December quarter to 26.06 million tonnes in January-March, according to estimates released by the ministry of economy, trade and industry (Meti). However, volumes will be down 1.9% from the same period a year earlier. That will bring total annual production for the fiscal year to 106.85 million tonnes from 106.46 million tonnes in fiscal 2011, thanks to big increases in first-half output. Output in the second half is projected to be down 3.8% on the first half. Behind weak output by the country's steelmakers are expectations of...


our Japan correspondent

December 31, 2012

13:28 GMT