Tokyo Steel raises product prices for 3rd straight month; cites China pickup, Olympics

16 January 2017

Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co Ltd , Japan's top electric-arc furnace steelmaker, will raise product prices for a third straight month, citing firmer international prices and domestic building projects getting under way for the 2020 Olympics.

Tokyo Steel, which makes beams and bars used for in the construction industry, said on Monday product prices will climb by about 2-4 percent for February delivery, marking the first time in nearly six years that it has raised prices for three consecutive months.

Managing director Kiyoshi Imamura said at a news conference there is room for the company's prices to move even higher later this year. Tokyo Steel's pricing strategy is closely watched by Asian rivals such as South Korea's Posco and Hyundai Steel Co, as well as China's Baoshan Iron & Steel Co (Baosteel).

"The steel market has been under pressure due to massive China production and exports in the past two years," Imamura said, "but things look different now as China's demand has recovered while its exports have declined."

Among Olympic construction projects under way in Tokyo, Imamura cited the building of the main stadium to host the games, with work on the Olympic village for athletes due to start this month.

The latest move would translate to price rises of 1,000-3,000 yen ($8.80-26.30) a tonne, Imamura said.