JFE Steel to Raise Hot Coil Export Price by US$ 50 in January

JFE Steel plans to raise hot coil export offer price by US$ 50 per tonne effective for January shipment. The firm starts price hike announcement to the users soon. Steel makers suffer worse export profitability due to drop down of steel market price mainly in Asia. Chinese steel makers currently started production cut to improve the market prices though economic growth is slowing down in emerging countries along financial crisis in Europe. JFE Steel considers the regional market condition has bottomed out and decided to launch price improvement.

JFE Steel reduces hot coil sales volume by 15-20% for October-December from the ordinary level while plans more output cut in and after January. The firm offered the previous price hike by US$ 50 for October shipment and the hike was approved by US$ 20-30. In and after November, the firm couldn’t realize the hike when Asian steel market price dropped due to oversupply from Chinese and South Korean steel makers as well as emergence of financial crisis in Europe.

Presently European steel makers are suspending blast furnaces or Chinese steel makers are moving to production cut. South Korean steel makers are reducing export volume due to low profitability. Japanese steel makers, Nippon Steel and JFE Steel also implemented output reduction. As for steel demand, Chinese government is expected to carry out credit easing policy while Thai flood problem has gradually settled down.

Other local steel makers may launch hot coil export price hike when the market price at US$ 600-650 per tonne seems too low to gain enough profit.