Japan’s major steelmaker, Tokyo Steel, announced its finished steel prices for May unchanged.
It was expected that sluggish demand in sectors like automobile and construction, caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, would force the steelmaker to cut its finished steel prices, however, the company has rolled over all its products prices from April.
Davis Index learned from a company official that for May, steel bars, including deformed bars, will be offered at JPY56,000/mt ($520/mt), unchanged from April.
Tokyo Steel’s H-beam of medium width is currently at JPY76,000/mt ex plant, and will remain at that price in May.
At the beginning of April, the steelmaker had slashed some product prices by JPY5,000-9,000/mt ($47-84/mt), or six per cent to 11pc, reflecting weakened sentiments on the global pandemic concerns.
Tokyo steel’s finished steel prices set a benchmark in the Asian steel market for companies like Posco and Hyundai in South Korea; Baoshan Iron & Steel in China; and Formosa Steel in Vietnam.
“With Tokyo steel holding its product prices unchanged for May, Japanese ferrous scrap prices are less likely to drop any further” said a trader.
Japan announced a national emergency in order to fight the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country. Many automakers shut operations and construction activities are on hold keeping finish steel demand subdued.
|100*100 to 350*350||76000||0|
|Striped H steel||196*197*6/8||86000||0|
|I shaped steel||100*75/ 125*75||83000||0|
Idling furnaces, tight supply, scrap flat
Amid the national emergency due to COVID-19 and a significant drop in steel demand, mills like Nippon and JFE Steel have idled their blast furnaces.
Japanese domestic scrap prices remained flat with Tokyo Steel prices now unchanged. However, Tokyo Steel did lower prices by JPY500/mt, on April 11, at two of its works, Tahara and Utsunomiya.
Bids for #2 HMS remained unchanged delivered Utsunomiya in Kanto. Bids for #2 HMS in Tahara, central region, were at JPY18,500/mt and JPY19,500/mt, respectively.
The spread between rebar shipments for May and purchase prices for #2 HMS delivered to its Utsuonmiya plant in the Kanto region effective today will be at JPY37,500/mt, up JPY4,000/mt from JPY33,500/mt the prior month.