Japan’s leading steel producer Nippon Steel announced plans to reopen Kimitsu blast furnace # 2 by the end of November this year. This decision is mainly due to the recovery in domestic as well as foreign demand for steel following the slowdown in Covid-19 growth. Note that by mid-June this year, the company stopped production at the furnace.
Domestic production, especially automobile production, is slowly recovering, according to Nippon Steel. Japanese car production has grown significantly since the end of the Covid-19 emergency. Increased demand for steel from Japanese car manufacturers led to an increase in steel production in the country in August this year. Monthly production of crude steel in August increased by 7% compared to the previous month and amounted to 6.4 million tons.
The company shut down 6 of its 15 blast furnaces in response to falling market demand. The Muroran blast furnace is scheduled to resume operation in November after maintenance. Thus, the company’s four blast furnaces are still out of service. Nippon Steel’s plans to reactivate blast furnace # 2 Kimitsu followed JFE Steel’s decision to restart one of its closed blast furnaces.