Nippon Steel & Sumikin Stainless Steel announced on Monday the firm increases the base selling price of nickel series stainless wire rod by 40,000 yen per tonne for June order or July rolling. The base price hike is the first attempt since 30,000 yen hike for April order in 2005. The firm also increases the extra charge by 10,000-60,000 yen for products with higher nickel content and copper content. The firm tries to cover part of higher cost price of nickel through the hikes eyeing another hike depending on nickel price move. The wire rod demand is firm under the tight supply after inventory adjustment by the beginning of the year while the import tends to decrease. Nickel price rebounded at London Metal Exchange since December. The metal price surged in April and reached record US$ 10.3 per pound on Friday. The foreign exchange rate of yen also pressures on the cost structure when the rate is 116-117 yen per US dollar, which is much lower than April 2005. Nippon Steel & Sumikin Stainless decided to increase the base price and extra charge to cover the higher cost price. The firm increases the extra charge by 10,000 yen per tonne for SUS304S with 10% nickel content, by 20,000 yen for screw material of SUSXM7 with 9.5% nickel and 3% copper, by 25,000 yen for welding material of SUS309S with 13% nickel and by 60,000 yen for SUS310S with 20% nickel, which is used for materials of cooked food making equipment and reheat furnace. Ahead of domestic hike, the firm already increased the export price by more than US$ 1,000 yen per tonne during December-May orders when offshore stainless wire rod supply is tight. The firm tries to increase the export price for June order and after. The firm said with nickel price in May the firm is forced to increase the selling price both for domestic and offshore market and considers another hike. The domestic hike is just start for next step.
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