TOKYO JFE Shoji Trade Corp. has announced a widescale
consolidation of its construction steel operations as it tries
to cope with continued demand weakness.
The trading wing of Japans second-largest steelmaker said
it will merge JFE Shoji Usuiakenzai Corp., which supplies thin
steel plate for construction use to the east of the country,
with JFE Seibu Usuiakenzai Corp., which supplies the same
products to the west of the country.
The new company, which will be formed April 1, also will more
closely share its sales strategy with plate supplier JFE
Galvanizing & Coating.
JFE Shoji also will integrate JFE Shoji Trade Steel
Construction Materials, whose main market is in east Japan, and
JFE Shoji Construction Materials Sales, whose main market is in
Strengthening the sales organization is getting more
important in the market of construction steel products, where
domestic demand has been decreasing since the (start of the
global financial crisis in 2008), JFE Shoji said.
Although steelmakers are expecting to see a pickup in demand
for reconstruction in the countrys tsunami-ravaged
northeast region, other areas of construction demand remain
The countrys trade ministry is projecting steel demand
from the housing sector will fall 7.8 percent this quarter
compared with the last three months of 2012.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Steel First.