Strong Sheet Steel Price in Tokyo

Sheet steel market price is expected to increase around Tokyo. Tokyo Steel Manufacturing announced 3,000 yen per tonne of hike for hot rolled coil and sheet for February order. The distributors try to increase the reselling price when the inventory is getting to normal level. The market price is 66,000-68,000 yen per tonne for hot rolled steel, 75,000-77,000 yen for pickling steel and 79,000-80,000 yen for cold rolled steel for base size at dealers’ transaction around Tokyo. Domestic automobile output is expected to exceed 11.5 million units in fiscal 2006 ending March 2007 reaching 20 million units including knockdown sets. Domestic integrated steel makers operate the continuous galvanizing lines at full capacity to meet the higher demand. The coil processors for automobile are also busy in tight schedule when the steel makers’ coated steel delivery delays. The demand is also firm for construction and industrial machinery and building applications. Under the tight supply, major dealers will increase the hot rolled steel price again after the hike in November. The dealers also increase the cold rolled steel price while the pickling steel supply is still easy.