Japan Construction Steel Demand to Decrease, Industry Official

Chairman of Japanese Non-Integrated Steel Producers’ Association Katsutoshi Kurikawa said at monthly press conference in Tokyo on Monday Japanese construction steel demand would decrease when public work slows other than for rebuilding activity in damaged area by the major earth quake. Mr. Kurikawa said the building start decreased for condominium and medical facilities in January from a year earlier level.

Mr. Kurikawa warns ferrous scrap price would not decrease from around 30,000 yen when the price is lower than blast furnace iron making cost. He said carbon steel making electric furnace steel makers would try to increase steel selling price to secure reproducible profit in and after April when Tokyo Electric Power Company will increase electric price for industry.

Mr. Kurikawa said current yen exchange rate is still severe for Japanese steel industry. He said the export could increase for steel billet and hot rolled coil due to weak yen rate. He said weaker yen rate would impact on imported steel.