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Business trends

Japan's JFE shuts blast furnace as outlook dims

Steel industry slashes capacity on trade war and Chinese competition

The closure of the blast furnace will reduce JFE's crude steel production capacity by 13%.

TOKYO -- JFE Steel will close a blast furnace at its eastern domestic hub as cooling demand and increased Chinese production force Japanese steelmakers to reassess their strategies.

The closure, slated for completion by fiscal 2023, will reduce the company's crude steel production capacity by about 4 million tons annually, or around 13%, JFE said Friday. Japan's No. 2 steelmaker also will shut down hot-rolling equipment used to make products such as automotive steel sheet.

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