Friday, March 15, 2013
Nippon Steel To Hike H-Beam Price By 7% Next Month
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. (5401) said Thursday that it will raise the price of H-beams for April shipments by 5,000 yen a ton, or roughly 7%.
Combined with increases in December and February, buyers will have to shell out 10,000 yen more per ton for the key construction material than they were paying before the series of hikes, a roughly 15% uptick.
Electric-furnace steelmaking subsidiary Nippon Steel & Sumikin Shapes Corp. will also mark up the price of H-beams for shipment next month by 5,000 yen, or about 7%.
Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal intends to continue to hike prices to improve its earnings, saying "demand is clearly recovering."
Steelmakers are trying to raise prices because the cost of iron ore, the core ingredient of steel, is set to rise about 30% on the quarter for the April-June period. Many traders say, however, the supply-demand balance is not tight enough for buyers to fully accept such demands.
Domestic inventories of H-beams grew 6% from a month earlier to 186,900 tons as of Feb. 28, rising for the first time in four months, according to data released Thursday by a trade group comprising sellers of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal's products.
Traders have built up stockpiles in response to a recent spate of announcements by steelmakers about price-hike plans. As a result, inventory-shipment ratio hit 2.19., exceeding the proper level of 2.
(The Nikkei, March 15 morning edition)