Concrete reinforcing steel bar price is firm at 63,000 yen per tonne for base size with 19 millimeters diameter at traders’ selling price to general contractors around Tokyo. Local rebar markers will increase the selling price to 65,000 yen for March order. The traders also try to increase the reselling price to the level while general contractors resist the move. Local rebar makers increased the selling price by 3,000 yen to 62,000 yen per tonne for January order. They try to increase the price to 65,000 yen for March order to cover higher ferrous scrap price, which is 33,000 yen per tonne for H2 grade. Tokyo Steel Manufacturing, which supplies rebar mainly in western Japan, increased the price by 3,000 yen to 66,000 yen for March order.Some distributors expect the price hike could take longer time to be accepted by general contractors. Major general contractors are expected to postpone planned steel purchase to April-June from original January-March. Such delay of purchase timing could reduce order to rebar makers. Local rebar shipment increased by 2% to 280,000 tonnes in January from a year earlier under firm demand. The shipment decreased by 15% from December due to seasonal slower demand and the shipment is expected to be monthly 270,000-280,000 tonnes in February and March. The rebar export price increased by 15.4% or 8,000 yen to FOB 60,000 yen per tonne to USA for April shipment compared with March shipment. South Korean buyers increased billet purchase offer price to FOB 52,000-53,000 yen per tonne, which increased from around 45,000 yen at the beginning of the year.
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