On February 25, the Japan Iron & Steel Federation released 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 production during the month was mainly due to a drop in demand, but more due to a decline in 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. The output 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 Japanese steel holding companies, but there is no specific reason for the decline in electric steel production. The official said that the decline in electric furnace production may be due to a decrease in January 2019 compared to the same period last year. Data show that in January, Japan's hot-rolled coil production was 3.33 million tons, down 12.1% year-on-year, down 0.6% from the previous month; H-beam production was 321,900 tons, down 5% year-on-year and0.1% quarter-on-quarter.