Lower Ferrous Scrap Price Lifts Japan Electric Furnace Steels’ Profit

Many Japanese major electric furnace carbon steel makers increased margin in fiscal 2011 ended March 2012 from fiscal 2010, according to 16 makers’ results. The market was slow in first half of fiscal 2011 due to the impact of major earthquake but the demand of concrete reinforcing steel bar recovered in the second half. The makers gained higher margin due to higher price of some items in the second half while the scrap price decreased.

Five steel makers of JFE Bars & Shapes, Itoh Iron & Steel, Tokyo Steel Manufacturing, Nakayama Steel Works and Sumikin Steel & Shapes posted recurring loss in fiscal 2011. Other six makers of Topy Industries, Yamato Kogyo, Godo Steel, Tokyo Tekko, Chubu Steel Plate and Tokyo Kohtetsu posted higher profit compared with the figures in fiscal 2010. Other four makers of Kyoei Steel, Asahi Industries, Hokuetsu Metal and Nakayama Steel Products regained profitability in fiscal 2011 while Osaka Steel posted lower profit.

Many makers see limited demand recovery for fiscal 2012 while they expect demand for rebuilding activity in the earthquake damaged area. Electric power charge hike by Tokyo Electric Power Company will cause more than 100 million yen of higher production cost for makers around Tokyo.

Four makers of Topy Industries, Godo Steel, Kyoei Steel and Asahi Industries expect higher recurring profit for fiscal 2012 than fiscal 2011. Six makers of Yamato Kogyo, Osaka Steel, Tokyo Tekko, Chubu Steel Plate, Hokuetsu Metal and Tokyo Kohtetsu see lower profit while Tokyo Steel expects breakeven and Itoh Iron & Steel plans to post the profit. Four makers of Nakayama Steel Works, JFE Bars & Shapes, Sumikin Steel & Shapes and Nakayama Steel Products failed to disclose earnings forecast.