Japan nonferrous smelters’ production costs to jump on power hikes

Feb 05, 2013 | 10:47 AM |

Tags  Japan smelters, nonferrous smelters, power costs, Tokyo Electric Power, Tepco, Sumitomo Metal Mining, Masao Yamada, zinc ferronickel

TOKYO — Some of Japan’s nonferrous metal producers have warned that they will face a struggle to remain profitable if power companies go ahead with planned price increases.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. Inc. (Tepco) plans to raise prices sharply starting April 1 in a move that the Japan Mining Industry Association fears will be followed by other electricity companies, raising production costs for metals by a significant amount.

"If other power companies follow Tokyo Electric’s hike, it will be difficult to maintain our businesses," association chairman Masao Yamada said. Zinc, ferronickel and titanium smelters are at particular risk, given that their power consumption is much higher than that of other smelters. ....

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