Japan's crude steel qutput is expected to come in around 35 million tonnes for the April-September period and below 80 million tonnes for the current financial year to end-March. the new head of a steel industry group said on Tuesday."It's my personal view. but I still expect Japan's crude steel outout is likely to fall below 80 million tonnes for the current financial year," said Eiji Hashimoto, new chairman of Japan Iron and Steel Federation ("JISF")Japan's crude steel outout for the vear to March 2020 was 98 43 million tonnes. down 4.3% front a year earlier.Asked whether he expects another round of consolidation in the local steel industry to defy slumpina demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Hashimoto said that a meraer is not the answer to survival. "Each steelmaker first needs to do whatever it can do on its own to improve management through measures includina cuttina down surplus production capacity." he saidHashimoto also warned that the relative superiority of Chinese steel mills will increase after the pandemic as they are boosting autout and improvina technoloayChina's steel mills are cranking up outout as demand recovers in the world's second-biacest economy following a lifting on curbs on movement and activity imposed to counter the epidemic while Japanese steelmakers have been forced to cut outout to reflect weak demand.