JFE, Japan's second largest steelmaker, is to consider setting up a plant in China, the Financial Times said. The company wants to tap the demand in China for sheet steel for motor vehicles, to counter declining demand at home. It currently sends one-third of its exports to China. The company has said that it is not looking for a Chinese partner, but would prefer to co-operate with either another Japanese steel maker or with Germany's Thyssen Krupp, with which it already has business ties.
Rival Nippon Steel has announced that it is in talks with Baoshan Iron and Steel about setting up a joint venture to produce steel for car makers in China.
Shougang closes No. 1 works Shougang Group, one of China's four top steel producers, has completed the closure of its No.1 Steel Works in Beijing, Xinhua reported. Closure of the plant reduces the group's steel-making capacity from 8m tons a year to 6m tons. It will help to cut pollution in the Chinese capital and will assist in the technical restructuring of the company. A new production base in the Qianan area of Hebei province, designed to produce 2m tons of steel annually, is expected to begin operating in 2004 and construction of a slab factory with an annual capacity of 800,000 tons is underway in Qinhuangdao, also in Hebei.