Japan’s crude steel output rose 0.9 percent in August from a year earlier to 8.81 million tonnes, an industry body said on Friday, reflecting a recovery in production at mills located in areas that saw torrential rain in July.
Gushing water broke levees and landslides destroyed houses in west Japan in July, killing more than 200 people in the country’s worst weather disaster in 36 years.
“Operation at some steelworks in western Japan returned to a normal state after being hit by heavy rains in July,” said a researcher at the Japan Iron and Steel Federation.
“Also, domestic steel demand for automobiles, industrial machinery and construction remained strong.” The monthly increase comes after crude steel production slipped in July.
August output, which is not seasonally-adjusted, increased 4.6 percent from July.
Japanese steelmakers, enjoying the best market conditions in several years, have so far been able to shrug off fears of a U.S.-China trade war.
Steel prices have risen on solid output by automakers and machinery makers, while construction is in full swing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and a series of redevelopment projects in central Tokyo.
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