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Nippon Steel faces $4bn loss as China overwhelms market

Industry leader rushes to trim capacity to be competitive

Nippon Steel's Kimitsu works: The steelmaking industry has long been a key component of Japan's manufacturing sector. (Photo by Azusa Kawakami)

TOKYO -- Nippon Steel projected Friday a record 440 billion yen ($4 billion) net loss for the fiscal year ending March 31, down from the previously forecast 40 billion yen profit, as protectionist governments and Asian rivals squeeze the bottom line.

The company is slashing capacity to increase competitiveness in a changing market, with further structural changes on the radar. Whether these will suffice remains unclear, along with whether Japan's once-iconic steelmakers face more speed bumps.

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