Japan Sheet Steel Stock Rises by 2.9% in May

Japanese hot, cold and coated sheet steel inventory increased by 2.9% or 120,000 tonnes to 4.191 million tonnes held by makers, distributors and coil centers for domestic shipment at end of May from April. The stock increased for 3 months in a row. Nippon Steel source said the situation is critical for the normal balance for the market when the stock increased more than 100,000 tonnes level in recent years in May. The makers’ inventory increased by 0.8% to 1.775 million tonnes in May from April. The inventory increased by 4.2% to 833,000 tonnes for distributors and by 4.6% to 1.583 million tonnes for coil centers. The total hot rolled flat steel inventory increased by 2.1% to 2.177 million tonnes. The stock increased by 1% to 782,000 tonnes for cold rolled flat steel and by 4.1% to 1.232 million tonnes for coated steel. The demand is slowed for machinery order receipt, nonresidential building start and domestic automobile sales though the domestic demand level keeps high. Nippon Steel source said some buyers ordered more than the consumption resulting in higher stock level. Nippon Steel started study to reduce the inventory level especially for makers and coil centers compared with 1.698 million tonnes at makers and 1.485 million tonnes at coil centers in February. The firm tries to control the production to meet the demand level and reduce the stock level to less than 4 million tonnes.