SHANGHAI, Mar 30 (SMM) – JFE, Japan’s second biggest steelmaker, said on Friday that it will close a blast furnace and other facilities at the East Japan Works (Keihin) to optimise its domestic operations.
Those facilities are expected to be shut down by FY2023 (ending March 2024), bringing the company’s operating blast furnaces in Japan to seven and reducing its crude steel capacity by around 4 million mt or 13%.
The steelmaker also said that its East Japan Works’ production of steel sheet, with the exclusion of some products (pickled steel sheet and special steel), will be consolidated in Chiba.
The shutdowns are expected to impact China’s exports of manganese, a transition metal with a multifaceted array of industrial alloy uses, particularly in stainless steels.
China exported 6,885 mt of unwrought manganese and 963 mt of wrouht manganese to Japan in the first two months of 2020, accounting for 13.84% and 15.37%, respectively, of the country’s total exports, according to data from China customs.