Nippon Steel & Sumikin Stainless Steel Corporation (NSSC) announced on Monday the firm increases the sales price of nickel series cold rolled stainless steel sheet and plate by 10,000 yen per tonne for February contracts to reflect nickel price upsurge in January. This is the first price hike for nickel series since May 2011. Nickel price at London Metal Exchange (LME) kept uptrend as of February 3. Thus additional price hike is expected for March contracts by around 10,000 yen. Meanwhile, NSSC left the sales price of chrome series stainless products unchanged.The latest price of nickel series products were decided along January monthly average of LME nickel price at US$ 8.99 per pound, higher by US$ 0.76 from the previous month, as well as averaged yen exchange rate against US dollar in January, 77.98 yen per US dollar. Averaged chrome price was 123 US cents per pound. Mr. Mitsuru Sawada, sales manager of NSSC, said the market trend is slightly changing when dealers’ sales volume increased by around 10% in January from the previous month and stainless steel users are gradually increasing their inventories along scrap price upsurge. Mr. Kojiro Kusunoki, plate sales manager of NSSC, explained domestic plate shipment slightly increased in December. Domestic demand was stable for cut stainless plate. Demand is also improving for reconstructions in the disaster areas of the Great East Japan Earthquake.
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