Japanese steelmaker Tokyo Steel has raised finished steel product sales prices for December deliveries by up to JPY2,000/mt ($19/mt) following bullish global cues and a sharp rise in ferrous scrap purchase prices in Japan. The steelmaker has the highest steel prices in the market and is waiting for others to follow suit.
Tokyo Steel revised prices of finished long steel bars, including rebars, by JPY2,000/mt to JPY63,000/mt ex-works. The prices for H-shaped beams and U-shaped steel sheet piles are at JPY83,000/mt ($796/mt) and JPY95,000/mt ex-works, respectively. Prices have seen a 2.2-3.3pc jump in line with global trends.
|Tokyo steel’s December shipment prices|
|Products||Prices in JPY/mt||Change M-o-M|
|Striped H steel||93000||0|
|I shaped steel||90000||0|
The company had decided to keep some prices flat to absorb earlier price hikes. In some regions, Japanese domestic steel inventories are going down, offering support to the prices. Higher ferrous scrap and iron ore prices have forced mills to offer steel at high prices to maintain their margin. Demand in domestic and global markets for finished steel has been recovering from the automotive and infrastructure sectors.
In the global market, the supply of raw materials and finished steel is expected to stay tight. Recovering operating rates in China and the US added to declining local inventories, forcing mills to raise offers. In the Southeast Asian markets, Tokyo Steel’s prices are followed as a benchmark by other competitors including Posco, Hyundai, Baoshan, and Formosa.
Ferrous scrap prices rise
High ferrous scrap prices narrowed the margins for many EAF-based mills in Japan, but increase in steel consumption provided some support to steelmakers. In November, Tokyo Steel made five successive price hikes for ferrous scrap purchases by around JPY2500-3500/mt. Effective November 17, purchase prices for #2 HMS is at JPY28,500/mt ($273/mt) delivered Utsunomiya works and JPY30,000/mt delivered Tahara.