April 12, 2010 / 6:07 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Tokyo Steel to raise output 20 pct in April - Nikkei

April 13 (Reuters) - Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co (5423.T), Japan’s biggest maker of construction steel, will raise production to 180,000 tons in April, up 20 percent from last month, in response to a rebound in steel demand throughout Asia, the Nikkei business daily said.

The electric-furnace steelmaker’s Okayama mill in western Japan will increase output of hot-rolled steel sheet and pickled sheet, while its Kyushu plant will boost steel plate output, the daily said citing company sources.

In addition to increasing the amount of scrap iron processed in electric furnaces, the mills’ operating hours will also be extended, the paper said.

Capacity utilization, which was at 50 percent of peak utilization in March, will be raised to 60 percent in April, the daily said. Plans are for output to be raised further to 200,000 tons in May, with capacity utilization projected to reach nearly 70 percent. (Reporting by Isheeta Sanghi in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri)

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