Japan 4 Major Stainless Steel Makers to Post Recurring Loss

Among Japanese 5 major stainless steel makers, only Nisshin Steel and Nippon Yakin Kogyo could gain recurring profits for nine months of April-December 2011, except for the pure re-roller, Nippon Kinzoku. For a full year of fiscal 2011 ending in March 2012, only Nippon Yakin Kogyo would gain profit. All of the 5 makers would be forced to post recurring losses in the second half year when nickel price is volatile. Domestic demand for stainless steel currently levels off. Japanese makers also suffer low export volume and tough price competition with imported stainless steels under historically strong yen trend.

Nippon Yakin Kogyo announced on Monday the firm gained consolidated recurring profit at 1.373 billion yen for April-December 2011 while the profit lowered by 684 million yen from the six months of April-September 2011. The firm would post additional 800 million yen loss for January-March.

In the first quarter, April-June 2011, all makers other than Nippon Steel & Sumikin Stainless Steel (NSSC) gained recurring profits. Nippon Metal Industry posted quarterly recurring loss for July-September. Nickel market price declined and then the selling price of stainless products lowered. Meanwhile, export profitability worsened due to strong yen trend. Import also increased from South Korea and Taiwan. Domestic price competition became severer especially for SUS304 grade products.

NSSC, Japanese largest stainless steel maker, posted quarterly recurring loss at 1.954 billion yen for April-June, 4.228 billion yen for July-September and 4.385 billion yen for October-December.

Nisshin Steel forecasts six-month recurring loss at 4 billion yen for its stainless steel business in the last half of fiscal 2011. The firm posted inventory evaluation profit at 500 million yen in the first half year while inventory evaluation loss would total 5.5 billion yen in the second half year.

Nippon Yakin Kogyo also forecasts six-month recurring loss at 1.5 billion yen for the second half of fiscal 2011. Nippon Metal Industry forecasts half-year recurring loss at about 5 billion yen.