Nippon Steel to Hike Wire Rod by Over 5,000 yen/t

Nippon Steel increases the selling price of carbon steel wire rod, bar in coil, deformed bar in coil and cold heading rimmed steel except for automobile applications by more than 5,000 yen per tonne for May order or July shipment. The firm tries to improve the profitability enough to the reproduction through the hike to cover higher cost for raw materials, energy and freight. Carbon steel wire rod demand is firm for building activity mainly in urban areas while the demand decreases for civil works. Carbon steel wire rod import price from China, which impacted negatively on domestic market, increased by around 100 yuan per tonne in April from March under tight supply in China and termination of tax return for the export. Japanese wire rod price is expected to increase. Japanese electric furnace steel makers increased the selling price by 5,000 yen per tonne for carbon steel wire rod in January and for bar in coil in April citing higher price and less availability of ferrous scrap. The wire processors also try to increase the selling prices. Nippon Steel expects the market accepts the hike. The firm said the hike could contribute to stable supply under tight steel sources. Nippon Steel said the firm has to reduce the order acceptance of wire rod by 15-20% for fiscal 2007 started April from fiscal 2006 due to tight steel supply in the firm. The firm said the wire rod inventory is less than 0.7 months for the shipment at the firm and processors compared with normal level of a month. Domestic makers supply annual 1.7 million tonnes of carbon steel wire rod and bar in coil while the import is more than 200,000 tonnes per year. Japanese top wire rod maker of Nippon Steel ships more than 30% of the domestic supply.