TOKYO Nippon Steel &
Sumitomo Metal Corp. (NSSMC) will increase its H-beam prices
further despite a sharp rise in stockpiles.
H-beam inventories held by the
Tokiwakai network of dealers handling NSSMCs products
totaled 186,900 tonnes at the end of February, equivalent to
2.19 months supply, up 5.6 percent from 177,000 tonnes
(2.06 months supply) a month earlier.
"We are not so concerned, as
February had fewer operational days," a company executive said.
"We expect levels to start falling again from this month, as we
are keeping a tight control on production and demand remains
The company has been reining in
production of H-beams and sheet piling at its Sakai Works in
Osaka, as well as at its Kashima and Kimitsu plants, in an
attempt to improve the supply-demand balance.
"In the March-to-May period,
production at Kashima and Sakai will be halted for repairs,
while at Kimitsu we will continue our shift-down in
production," the executive said.
NSSMC over the past few months
has slashed output earmarked for spot sales by 70 to 80 percent
of normal levels.
It plans to hike H-beams by 5,000 yen ($52) per tonne "as
soon as possible," the executive said, after boosting prices by
the same amount at the end of last month.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister
publication Steel First.