Sheet Steel Price could Rise in Tokyo

Market price of sheet steel could increase slightly in Tokyo after a week-long holiday in early May. The distributors see the market condition improved with the firm processing demand, rebound of offshore market and potential price hike by Tokyo Steel Manufacturing though the distributors’ market is still slow. The price is hitting bottom depending on the items. The distributors market has shrunk due to the shift to larger contract between makers and users. A coil center in Urayasu area said the sales of the own materials are very low level. The distributors’ shipment was especially slow in January-March due to pending inventory adjustment.The distributors’ mind changed in April though the supply balance is same as before. The mood improved when domestic integrated steel makers keep the selling price, offshore price rebounded from the plunge, price gap between domestic and offshore markets narrows and the total sheet demand keeps firm. The demand keeps firm for manufacturers including automobile and construction and industrial machinery. Japan Coil Center Association expects the members’ shipment is 4.25 million tonnes in April-June, which is in line with same period of 2005. The construction demand is also firm depending on the applications. A coil center source said the demand is strong from major prefabricated house makers.