Slow Dealers’ Sheet Market in Tokyo

Sheet steel market price is flat at 68,000-69,000 yen per tonne for hot rolled sheet, at 74,000-76,000 yen for pickling steel and at 80,000-82,000 yen for cold sheet around Tokyo. The peaking price could become weak after the price has increased since last 2006. Japanese sheet steel inventory increased to 4 million tonnes at end of March and the level keeps around 4 million tonnes for months. Some industry interests estimate the stock increased at end of April. The demand is slow in distributors’ market though the demand keeps firm for contract users. The building materials users, which are major buyers for distributors’ market, keep lower purchase due to delay of building construction activity. A dealer source said the dealers’ market tends to be oversupply while the makers feel tight supply market condition. The sheet steel market could keep balanced position in general. However, the dealers could be in difficult time due to the market gets weak.