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Nippon Steel to halt third blast furnace as pandemic erodes demand

TOKYO, April 21 (Reuters) - Nippon Steel Corp, Japan’s biggest steelmaker, said on Tuesday it will temporarily shut a blast furnace in Kimitsu, in eastern Japan, in mid-May to cope with slumping demand amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The shutdown follows its recent decision to halt two other blast furnaces.

Nippon Steel, the world’s third-ranked steelmaker, said earlier this month that it will temporarily suspend two blast furnaces in April, cutting about a tenth of its capacity, after a sharp drop in steel demand. (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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