Japan’s Tokyo Steel Manufacturing will hold finished steel prices unchanged for the fifth successive month for its March shipments, a Davis Index source at the firm confirmed.
The company has held prices flat for its steel products, including its H-shaped beams, given that the Covid-19 (coronavirus) outbreak in China since January have affected market dynamics.
For March, the price of steel bars, including rebar, will remain at JPY62,000/mt ($565/mt), and H-shaped beams will remain at JPY83,000/mt.
In March 2018, the prices for steel bars, including rebar, were at JPY69,000/mt ($624) and H-shaped beams at JPY89,000/mt.
“We are holding finished steel prices flat for March shipments because presently there are many unforeseen aspects of the Covid-19 outbreak that are impacting construction projects and finished steel demand in Asia. We are accessing its impact,” the company official said.
Steel mills have lowered production outputs to adjust for the drop in demand in the market, the source claimed, clarifying that Tokyo Steel has balanced orders for the coming month without lowering its production volume.
Since January 25, Tokyo Steel has cut its purchase price for ferrous scrap, as domestic steel consumption remained weak.
The prices fell by a total of JPY4500-5000/mt ($41-46/mt) resulting in a wider spread between rebar and scrap prices.
After the latest price revision on Feb 13, Tokyo Steel is paying JPY20,000/mt for #2 HMS delivered to its Utsuonmiya plant in the Kanto region with the spread against rebar at JPY42,000/mt, up from JPY37,000/mt the prior month.
Japan’s ferrous scrap exports in 2019 was at 7.65mn mt, up 3pc from 7.40mn mt the prior year, according to Global trade tracker data.