Tokyo Steel has kept domestic steel sales prices unchanged for February shipments. The electric arc-based steelmaker held prices to help end-users absorb January’s hike. Also, ferrous scrap prices are showing signs of cooling-off after nearing a 11-year high of JPY44,751/mt ($432/mt) fas Tokyo in last week’s Kantos tender on Jan 13.
Driven by bullish ferrous scrap in December, Tokyo Steel raised finished steel product sales prices for January deliveries by JPY10,000/mt ($97/mt). January prices for steel products are up by 11-16pc from December. Steel inventories are high in January on slower consumption amid increased production.
For February shipments, rebar will be offered at JPY73,000/mt ex-works unchanged from January, according to a company release. The prices for H-shaped beams and U-shaped steel sheet piles are at JPY93,000/mt ($896/mt) and JPY103,000/mt ($993/mt) ex-works, respectively, while offers for hot-rolled coils are at JPY79,000/mt.
|Tokyo Steel’s February shipment prices|
|Products||Prices in JPY/mt|
|Striped H steel||103000|
|I shaped steel||100000|
In the global market, steel demand has been recovering on the back of government-stimulus in many countries, while finished steel supplies have remained tight. Tokyo Steel noted that sheet products inventories are low in the domestic market amid increased demand from public works and private projects, said in a statement. The supply of raw materials is expected to stay tight through Q1 2021, keeping the price outlook ‘stable to up’. The uncertainties caused by the resurgence of COVID-19 infections in China, Japan and European countries are expected to be managed with the vaccination drives in the coming months, expects Tokyo Steel.
In the Southeast Asian markets, Tokyo Steel’s prices are followed as a benchmark by other competitors including Posco, Hyundai, Baoshan and Formosa.
Fe scrap prices drop in January on slow demand
High ferrous scrap prices narrowed the margins for many EAF-based mills in Japan but an increase in steel consumption domestically provided some support to steelmakers. In December, Tokyo Steel made 11 price hikes in ferrous scrap purchase prices with prices up by JPY10,000-12,000/mt from November.
Post which, ahead of the Chinese New Year holidays, the steelmaker lowered prices by JPY1,000/mt for all grades delivered Utsunomiya works, effective Jan 14. Prices for #2 HMS dropped to JPY42,000/mt delivered Utsunomiya and JPY43,000/mt delivered Tahara.