UPDATE 1-Nippon Steel takes $583 mln charge on Brazilian unit after oil slump
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By Yuka Obayashi
TOKYO Jan 29 (Reuters) - Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp said on Thursday it took a 68.6 billion yen ($583 million) charge in the April-December period as a slump in oil prices was hurting profits at its pipe affiliate in Brazil.
Japan's biggest steelmaker, which also supplies steel pipes to oil and gas companies globally, expects the drop in oil to have a negative impact on its earnings for the next business year starting in April, an executive said.
"We don't expect a major impact from lower oil prices this business year but we may see a negative effect on new orders and output of steel pipes in the next business year,"
Executive Vice President Katsuhiko Ota told a news conference on its earnings.
"If oil prices stay below $50, orders for pipes will be held back. We need to cope with the changes carefully," he said.
Global oil prices have tumbled almost 60 percent since June, forcing a number of oil and gas companies to scale back capital spending plans for 2015.
United States Steel Corp said this month it would idle plants in Illinois and Indiana due to weak demand from the oil industry, resulting in the layoff of 545 people. Continuación...