JAPAN STEEL PRICE ROUNDUP FROM MEPS INTERNATIONAL LTD
Flat product prices, in Japan, were
unchanged month-on-month, according to the latest report by MEPS. After failing
to hold on to hot rolled coil transaction values in September, the mills have
brought some stability back into the market. Consumption is picking up but
import pressure persists. The export situation remains extremely competitive.
The shipyards are performing well, helping to boost sales of plate. The healthy
construction sector is also fuelling strong demand. However, large tonnages of
imported commodity grade material are limiting local price rises. Moreover,
overseas sales have dropped significantly.
In the cold rolled coil market there is growing competition from elsewhere in
the Asian region. Order intake at the domestic mills is reasonable, despite
softening demand from the vehicle manufacturers.
Domestic vehicle production fell by 6.7 percent, year-on-year, in August, the
second consecutive month of lower output. Domestic car sales have dropped,
following a consumption tax increase in April. Imports of coated products
continue to pose problems for local steelmakers. However, transaction figures
have remained stable for several months.
Structural section inventories held by distributors, at end September, rose by
1.2 percent from the August figure. Major producer, NSSMC, has decided to keep
official H-beam values unchanged for October contracts. This is the ninth month
in a row that the company has kept prices flat. In the marketplace, transaction
numbers have moved down by 1.3 percent.
Japan’s largest rebar maker, Kyoei Steel, announced it would lift official list
prices for October contracts by ¥3000 per tonne, due to a combination of higher
input costs and tight supply. However, market values have eased down during
Merchant bar producers chose to roll over last month’s figures for October
contracts as their material costs reduced. Sales to the building industry are
reasonable, with supply and demand largely in balance.
MEPS International Steel
Review - October Issue
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