Japan Forecasts Upturn in Steel Output

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Japan anticipates a 1.7% increase in crude steel production from January to March 2024, attributing the surge to robust demand from automakers. Despite concerns about faltering demand from certain sectors due to weakened European and Chinese economies, the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) projects an annual output rise of 0.3%, reaching 88.10 million metric tons.


Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) unveiled a promising projection, forecasting a 1.7% surge in Japan's crude steel output during the first quarter of 2024. This optimistic outlook is primarily underpinned by burgeoning demand within the automotive sector, signifying a potential upswing in steel production.

The envisioned upsurge would culminate in the world's third-largest steel producer attaining an annual output of 88.10 million metric tons by the financial year-end on March 31, a marginal but significant 0.3% uptick from the preceding year.

Daisuke Matsuno, director of METI's metal industries division, highlighted the pivotal role of robust demand from automakers in propelling steel output. However, he expressed apprehensions about sluggish demand looming over other manufacturing sectors and the construction industry.

The METI's estimation pins the first-quarter crude steel output at 21.98 million metric tons, a noticeable escalation from the 21.62 million tons recorded in the same period the previous year. Nevertheless, this forecast indicates a 1.7% dip compared to the current quarter's output.

Despite the expected increase in steel output, the ministry projects a 0.5% decline in demand for steel products, encompassing exports, totaling an estimated 19.92 million metric tons in the first quarter. Additionally, the forecast suggests a contrasting 1.4% rise in exports.


Japan anticipates a rise in steel production, primarily driven by the automotive industry, expecting a 1.7% increase in crude steel output by early 2024. However, concerns persist over sluggish demand in certain sectors amidst weakened economies in Europe and China, urging caution despite positive projections.

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