Japanese steelmaker Nippon Steel Corp has stressed on the need for increasing steel prices to stabilize supply. Nippon’s Executive Vice President, Takahiro Mori, has urged manufacturing companies in Japan to cope with steel price hikes, according to media reports.
Mori said steel prices in Japan are too low in terms of global standard and need to be corrected. Urgent hikes are crucial to shorten the gap between domestic and international steel markets to give Japanese steelmakers an equal footing.
Globally, mills have reported a steep rise in quarterly earnings as steel prices soared.
Though Japanese steelmakers like Nippon and JEE Holdings Inc recovered from the pandemic in the second half of 2020, their profits were lower than their European, South African, and South Korean counterparts.
Nippon has fallen behind other global competitors of the steel market and is unlikely to secure enough funds for upgrading products and establishing new facilities, Mori said.
With China cutting down on steel output, the global demand for steel will increase this year. Mori expects iron ore to range between $190-200/mt this year, with no change in China’s benchmark hot-rolled coil. Hot-rolled coil in Shanghai closed at CNY5,434/mt on Friday.