Nippon Steel to Shutter More Blast Furnaces to Reduce Cost

Posted on 10 December 2019

Source: Scrap Monster

Japanese steelmaking giant Nippon Steel Corporation (NSC) announced that it plans to shut more blast furnaces, in line with its strategic plan to reduce costs of operation. The company expressed fears that its annual profit may get impacted by huge drop in steel demand and prices.

The company has already decided to shut two out of the total fifteen blast furnaces in Japan by March 2024. Further closures could lead to significant reduction in steel making capacity of the company in the Asian region. Meantime, NSC declined to comment on potential job cuts on account of furnace closures.

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Commenting on the future prospects, Nippon Steel Executive Vice President Katsuhiro Miyamoto said that the company plans to consolidate all of its facilities including blast furnaces in order to bring down fixed costs. The moves are an attempt to mirror the sharp decline in domestic steel demand and the constraints on exports on account of ongoing trade conflict among countries worldwide, he noted.

Earlier in November, NSC had lowered its profit forecast for the current year, mainly on account of compressed export margins due to falling steel process coupled with production disruptions at its facilities as a result of strong typhoon and fire. In addition, it plans to restructure the domestic operations, by consolidating its 16 domestic business units into six steel units. 

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