Japanese integrated steel makers try to increase export price of can material flat rolled steel by US$ 100 or more to US$ 1,300-1,400 per tonne for April-June shipment from January-March. The makers expect the demand improves seasonally when the users finished inventory adjustment. The makers seek better profitability under strong market trend.The integrated steels see price and demand of can material flat rolled steel hit bottom in late December. The price decreased due to competition between offshore makers under weak hot rolled and cold rolled flat steel price. The demand decreased due to slow cunning output mainly in Thailand under the flood damage and poor food harvest. The users reduced the inventory to meet slower demand. However, Thailand is recovering from the flood damage. Asian market price of hot rolled and cold rolled flat steel showed sign of increase in and after January. The users increase can material flat rolled steel order by around 20% for April-June shipment from January-March due to lower stock and strong market trend, according to Japanese integrated steels. Food output is increasing due to seasonal higher demand. Some users require half year contract for Japanese integrated steels, according to integrated steel source. The integrated steels will not change the term but the makers see the request represents the users’ expectation for higher price in future. Offshore major re-rollers including South Korean Dongbu Steel, TCC Steel and Taiwanese Ton Yi Industrial would increase tinplate selling price due to higher flat rolled steel cost. Baoshan Iron and Steel increases hot rolled flat steel selling price for March shipment. The firm left tinplate selling price unchanged for February-March but Japanese industry source sees the firm will increase tinplate price for April due to narrower price gap compared with hot rolled flat steel.
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