Kobe Steel to Hike Domestic Sheet Steel by 5,000 yen/t

Kobe Steel decided on Friday the firm increases the selling price of hot, cold and coated steel by 5,000 yen per tonne for distributors, pipe makers and processors for May shipment. The firm starts negotiation with the buyers. The firm tries to improve the profitability through the hike when the demand improves for automobile and construction.

The firm tries to improve the profitability to keep stable supply. The buyers could resist the price hike attempt due to low level market price. The firm tries to get the higher price through talk with each buyer.

Domestic sheet inventory decreased for 3 months in a row through March. Domestic automobile production is expected to reach around 5 million units in April-September thanks to subsidy for eco-friendly vehicle. Rebuilding activity for northeast Japan is creating steel demand gradually. Import price also increases under lower yen rate while the import is still higher than before.