Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

Japan-based steelmaker Tokyo Steel has announced that it would keep its finished steel prices for June unchanged. Japan announced a ‘state of emergency’ to fight with the COVID-19 pandemic since Mid-May. Major automakers have shut their operations and steelmakers like JFE and Nippon Steel have idled their blast furnaces following a significant drop in demand.


Tokyo Steel is a leading electric arc steelmaker in Japan. The company has held back a price hike despite higher input costs to analysis the domestic steel industry for another month. In April, Tokyo Steel had cut steel prices by JPY5,000-9,000/mt. The steelmaker has left prices unchanged for the second successive month for all of steel products, including its main product H-shaped beams.


Prices of steel bars, including deformed bar, will remain at JPY56,000/mt ($523/mt), unchanged from the prior month. H beam prices of medium width remain flat at JPY76,000/mt ex-plant.   

Tokyo Steel June shipment prices
ProductPrice in JPY/mt
H Beam84,000
Striped H steel86,000
I shaped steel83,000
Channel steel72,000
D bar56,000

“With Tokyo Steel holding its product prices unchanged for June, Japanese ferrous scrap prices may move up further on short ferrous scrap supply globally,” said Japan-based traders to Davis Index. 


In the Southeast Asian market, Tokyo Steel’s prices set a benchmark for competitors like Posco, Hyundai in South Korea, Baoshan Iron & Steel in China, Formosa Steel in Vietnam. China’s Baosteel lowered finished steel prices by CNY50-100/mt for its finished flat prices. However, Tokyo Steel’s move on Monday to hold prices would provide stability to the Japanese steel industry. 


Japanese ferrous scrap 

Japan’s domestic scrap prices have remained flat since late April. Tokyo Steel has held prices since April 28. Bids for #2 HMS remained unchanged at JPY18,500/mt delivered Utsunomiya in Kanto region and JPY17,500/mt del Kyushu plant. Bids for busheling at Tahara and Utsunomiya remained at JPY20,500/mt fob Japan. 


Ferrous scrap export prices, however, moved up in the last week following a rise in average bids of Kanto Tetsugen scrap export tender. For May, average bids increasing by JPY1,820/mt ($17/mt) from the prior month. The tender sold 23,000mt of ferrous scrap, with winning bids at an average of JPY22,476/mt ($209/mt) fas Tokyo Bay compared to JPY20,656/mt ($192/mt) fas Tokyo Bay in April. The rise in May’s average bids has ended a downtrend of three successive months.


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