It is predicted that due to weak market demand, the domesticdomestic production of hot rolled steel will decline this year. In the firsthalf of the year, the domestic production of hot-rolled steel sheets in Koreawas 6.048 million tons, a decrease of 4.8% year-on-year.
The main reason for the reduction in production is thelarge-scale maintenance of related equipment, especially in September andOctober. Another reason is the recent weakening of demand in the domesticmarket in Korea. According to data released by the Korea Ironand Steel Association, in the first half of this year, South Korea imported atotal of 9,976,900 tons of hot-rolled steel sheets from Japan.
In addition, iron ore prices continue to be bullish, andproducers' production cost pressures increase. Although iron ore import priceshave recently declined, the current level is still higher than last year'saverage import price ($69/ton).