BFs in the country cut steel production drastically in the first half of 2020
, with the Covid-19 pandemic battering demand in the automotive and manufacturing sector.
The index for Japanese manufacturing output has started to bounce back from its second-quarter lows, hitting 89.8 points in July, up from 82.9 points in June but down from January’s 93.5 points, according to the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
A recent revival in the domestic automotive sector has allowed these mills to raise production levels again, a BF steelmaker source told Fastmarkets.
“We are recovering in the automotive sector, but manufacturing products have low demand- particularly for white goods going abroad,” the source said.
“BFs are trying to buy more scrap now and are trying to get it at a low price. They are trying to leverage their raw material costs - iron ore costs...