Stainless Steel Bar Price Keeps Firm in Tokyo

The market price of stainless steel bar is flat at 280,000 yen per tonne for base sized SUS 403 products, while firm at 440,000 yen per tonne for SUS 304 and at 700,000 yen for SUS 316 in Tokyo.Stainless steel bar makers raised their selling prices by 30,000-40,000 yen per tonne in order to pass their cost up due to the nickel price increasing sharply in May. The supply is tightening with firm demand for large contract users. The demand for chemical plant is especially strong with active capital investment both domestic and overseas. The demand also maintains good from wholesalers. The inventory is decreasing in the market.Nickel price at London Metal Exchange (LME) stayed at US$ 9.8 per pound of high level on Wednesday. Nickel inventory held by LME was about 20,000 tonnes at the end of May, decreasing by about 10,000 tonnes in 2 months. The inventory is likely to decrease more due to Chinese demand stronger than expectation.