Tokyo’s Stainless Steel Sheets Price is in the Strong Tone

The stainless steel sheet market price in the Kanto area around Tokyo is recovering. Overseas stainless steel sheet market price is increasing earlier than domestic price. Overseas stainless steel makers announced the price hikes in succession. Some Japanese stainless makers raised the export price considerably. Consequently, domestic distributors’ selling prices are rising. Some stainless maker raised the selling price for strings.The stainless steel sheets market price is 300,000-310,000 yen per tonne for SUS304 and 200,000 yen per tonne for SUS430. Both market prices remain unchanged. LME (London Metal Exchange) nickel price is US$6.8 per pound for the average in February, maintaining around US$7.However, Voisey Bay nickel mine of Inco, the major nickel supplier, started the operation from the ended of last year. It is expected that total nickel production volume in 2006 in the world would increase by about 50,000 tonnes over the previous year to 1.365 million tonnes. LME nickel is increasing speculatively as opposed to expand the production of the stainless steel sheets though the amount of LME nickel inventory is 30,000-35,000 tonnes as the high level.