Challenge Year for Sustainable Growth for Japan Steels

Chairman Hajime Bada of Japan Iron and Steel Federation said at monthly press conference on Thursday Japanese steel industry should prove the sustainable growth in fiscal 2007 through own effort to keep high level profit under higher raw materials cost. The president of JFE Steel said Chinese steel export after June is key for world steel market with Chinese new export tariff. Mr. Bada said Japanese steel industry fails to pass some of the higher cost for nickel, zinc and ferrous scrap on the selling price. He said the price improve effort is still challenge for each steel firm when minerals supply could keep short and the high price could keep high level worldwide. Mr. Bada welcomes Chinese effort to reduce excess steel export through termination of tax return and new export tariff. However, he warns Chinese raw steel output could reach 500 million tonnes in 2007 and the high level output could slow down with lower export. Mr. Bada said steel industry of developed countries should transfer the environmental control technology to developing countries to reduce greenhouse gasses toward post Kyoto Protocol. He suggested governments of developed countries could support the transfer through official development assistance or any other funding support.