Nippon Seisen Targets Higher Profit, Offshore Output for F2014

Japanese major stainless steel wire maker, Nippon Seisen’s president Tatsuo Kondo said to a reporter of Japan Metal Bulletin the firm plans higher profit and higher offshore sales. The firm targets 5 billion yen or more of consolidated recurring profit for fiscal 2014 ending in March 2015 compared with 3.053 billion yen in fiscal 2011. The firm tries to improve the profitability through the advanced technology and better cost performance.

Mr. Kondo sees severe business condition in and after fiscal 2012. He estimates stainless steel wire market is 7,500-8,000 tonnes per month in Japan and the market share of imported wire increased to more than 30% from 20% in a year. He said the business condition is tough under competition with Chinese and South Korean makers mainly for wire mesh material and other commodity grade products.

Nippon Seisen’s output is 2,500-2,600 tonnes per month in total of 3 plants in Japan. The output is 400 tonnes in Thailand and 100 tonnes in Dalian of China. Mr. Kondo expects the weight of offshore output should increase when the users shift the production to offshore plants.

Mr. Kondo said the firm tries to increase sales of high value added wire and high alloy wire in global market through fiscal 2014. He expects higher demand for diamond saw wire and high strength beryllium free copper alloy wire. He said Nagoya plant will focus on saw wire production and transfer stainless steel wire making facilities to other plants by September. He said the firm plans 500 million yen to 1 billion yen of the products sales for fiscal 2013. The firm seeks the best mix of operation at Japanese plants and offshore plants.

The firm’s consolidated recurring profit decreased by 14.1% for fiscal 2011 from fiscal 2010. Mr. Kondo said the profit decreased in the second half of the fiscal 2011 due to inventory valuation loss from weak nickel price compared with the figure in the first half. He said the firm has stock of nickel series stainless steel wire to meet 3 months or less of monthly shipment. He said every US$ 1 per pound of nickel price decrease reduces 150-200 million yen of inventory evaluation. He said the results were also due to lower shipment for solar power industry and semiconductor along with severe competition with offshore makers under very high yen exchange rate.