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Nippon Steel, Vallourec to shut 2 blast furnaces in Brazil

Nippon Steel and Vallourec's joint steel mill in Brazil.

TOKYO -- Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal and French partner Vallourec will halt two of three blast furnaces they operate in Brazil as early as this year as cheap crude saps demand for specialty pipe used in oil fields.

     A Nippon Steel-Vallourec joint venture runs a steel mill in the South American nation, manufacturing pipe used in oil drilling. The facility will be integrated with a nearby mill operated separately by Vallourec by the end of the year, resulting in the closure of the French company's two furnaces. This would cut their crude steel production capacity by around 2 million tons -- the equivalent of about 5% of Nippon Steel's total.

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