Nippon Steel & Sumikin Stainless Cuts Ni Series Sheet by 40,000 yen/t

Nippon Steel & Sumikin Stainless Steel announced on Monday the firm decreases the selling price of nickel series stainless cold rolled sheet without edge and with 2 millimeters thick by 40,000 yen to 710,000 yen per tonne for domestic distributors for July order, which is first drop since November 2005 and the firm kept increasing the price sine January 2006. The firm reflects the lower nickel price in June under the surcharge mechanism. The plate price also decreases by 40,000 yen to 720,000 yen for product with 2 mm thick while the firm left the chrome series stainless cold sheet unchanged at 245,000 yen. The firm decreases the price based on US$ 21.30 per pound of averaged nickel ingot price at London Metal Exchange in May and June, which is US$ 1.94 lower than base for previous month selling price. The firm said offshore stainless steel makers conduct output reduction when the buyers are reluctant to buy now under lower raw materials market. The firm also tires to reduce the distributors’ inventory to normal level, which keeps increasing. The firm ships chrome series stainless cold sheet for automobile and appliances applications. The firm left the price unchanged despite of strong demand to shift nickel series of SUS304 to high valued chrome series products including NSSC180. The firm indicates the firm could increase the chrome series price when the firm should accept wide hike for ferrochrome price for July-September after settlement at 18 US cents hike per pound of chrome in Europe.The firm cannot meet strong demand for chrome series hot coil due to limited availability of steel source at Yawata works of Nippon Steel. The firm sees the plate is oversupply to reduce the overstock in domestic market as cold rolled sheet. The firm has reduced the order from distributors by 20% since May. The firm expects the inventory level would decrease to the normal level by the end of September when the demand is firm for paper making and food industry, vacuum chamber and oil refinery. The firm rejects the order for nickel series cold rolled sheet from distributors for July order as June order. The firm tries to find the way to better supply balance with hearing to individual distributors’ needs. The firm said the Hikari plant reduces the nickel series cold rolling operation by around 25% compared with the capacity. The firm shifts the operation from nickel series to chrome series cold sheet, which the firm produces 2,000-3,000 tonnes per month. The firm also reduces the order for plate by 30% for July order compared with 20% cut for June order.