Japan Sheet Steel Price Gets to Hit Bottom

Japanese sheet steel price shows sign to hit bottom from the downward adjustment. In Tokyo, the price of hot rolled steel, of which the inventory is less overstock than other products, is hitting bottom while a source of coil center said galvanizing steel price is near the bottom though the import still impacts on the domestic market. The turning point is apparently near though the price should take more time to rebound due to slow demand in distributor’s market nationwide and Tokyo’s condition is different from others. Tokyo’s distributors increase the expectation the sheet steel prices is hitting bottom. Hot rolled steel price is flat when the inventory adjustment is completing in the earliest timing among the sheet steel products. Galvanizing steel market is also expected to change the mood in March or April though the price is still weak. During adjustment phase of sheet steel inventory, some of the prices of cold rolled and galvanizing steel decreased gradually due to the cheaper imports. The import price of galvanizing steel for construction materials is said to be 10,000 yen per tonne lower than price of products from domestic integrated steel makers. Domestic integrated steels still try to keep the price. The distributors have to keep the re-selling price due to the higher cost price. The distributors try to keep the price getting through the slump. Chinese and Taiwanese major steel makers increased the selling price of flat steel for domestic market when the price decreased too much since last year. Tokyo Steel Manufacturing, which produces hot rolled and galvanizing steel, left the selling prices unchanged for March order. Japanese sheet steel price has no factor to rebound so far despite of strong domestic demand. The market is still weak in Osaka and Nagoya and the mood is mixed depending on the local condition. However, the market is changing the stage toward the bottom when the market has no more bad news.