Crude steel output by Japan's top steelmakers is set to reach the highest level in about three decades by early 2009 thanks to robust demand at home and abroad, a report said April 14.
Nippon Steel, JFE and three other major Japanese steelmakers plan to produce a combined 88.4 million tons of crude steel in the year ending in March 2009, up 7.2% from the year just ended, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said.
The companies are aiming for growth by boosting output of competitive, high-quality steel for such use as automobile sheets and pipes for oil extraction. They plan to boost their capital spending by nearly 40% over the next three years to more than 2.2 trillion yen (US$18.5 billion), the report said citing its tally of the five companies' plans.
Crude steel output by blast-furnace steelmakers peaked at 97 million tons in fiscal 1973 when Japan was in an economic boom period.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006