January 23, 2009

Nippon Steel to cut production

Japan's Nippon Steel Corp. plans to slow crude steel production at two blast furnaces to cut output 15 percent through this fiscal year, sources said.

The company's plans include shutting down the Oita Works and possibly the Kimitsu Works temporarily, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported Friday.

With a sluggish global economy, JFE Steel Corp. also plans to cut output, reducing annual production by 4 million tons.

In the fiscal year ending in March, Japan's five largest steel makers are trimming production by 10 million tons.

Nippon Steel, in November, announced it would cut its annual production to about 31 million tons, dropping previous estimates by 2 million tons.

The cuts are partly a reaction to Japan's slumping automobile industry. Toyota Motor Co. has announced it would slash production at domestic factories in half in February and March.