Japan Welded Tube Makers Post Higher Profits in F2006

Consolidated recurring profits of Japanese 3 major welded steel tube makers, Maruichi Steel Tube, Araya Industry and Mory Industries increased in fiscal 2006 ended March 2007 compared with fiscal 2005. Consolidated recurring profits of other 3 major makers, Sumitomo Pipe & Tube, Nittetsu Steel Pipe and JFE Welded Pipe Manufacturing decreased.Carbon steel pipe demand maintained low for building materials while machine-structural special steel pipe demand was favorable for automobiles and construction machineries. Stainless steel tube demand was strong for pipe fitting.Their production cost increased due to material price upsurge such for zinc and nickel. They tried to pass increased material costs on their selling prices.Under the situations, their consolidated sales increased in fiscal 2006 from fiscal 2005 except Sumitomo Pipe & Tube. Sumitomo Pipe & Tube’ sales decreased by 0.9% from previous year.Maruichi Steel Tube, Araya Industry, Mory Industries and JFE Welded Pipe Manufacturing estimate their consolidated sales could increase in fiscal 2007. They forecast their consolidated recurring profits decrease when material costs for hot-coil would rise and their sales for distributors would shrink. Stainless steel tube demand is concerned to decline due to extreme high nickel price.