Nippon Steel Corporation (NSC) has lowered the tapping ratio of its blast furnaces, extended the time between blasting, and has taken other measures to reduce overall steel output volume in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic

The Japanese steelmaker has also initiated additional measures in response to a sharp drop in demand for steel products and these include the banking of blast furnace number one at its East Nippon Works in the Kashima area, which will be carried out from the middle of April as soon as preparations are complete. Similar measures will take place at the company's Kansai Works in Wakayama in late April.

'Banking' refers to measures taken to temporarily stop blast furnace production, but make it possible to restart production at a later date by stopping the air blast flow, says NSC.

NSC plans to adjust or suspend production of some coke ovens at its East Nippon Works in Kashima, Kimitsu and at its Kansai Works in Wakayama and has already substantially reduce its operating rates.

The company will continue to respond to changes in steel demand, both at home and overseas, and will carry out 'prompt and effective production adjustment'.