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Tokyo Steel raises benchmark prices by 4.6 pct
TOKYO Aug 20 (Reuters) - Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co , Japan's biggest construction steel maker, said on Monday it would raise prices of its main products for delivery in September by about 4.6 percent as it expects appetite to pick up.
Prices of H-shaped beams, its main product, will increase by 3,000 yen, or 4.6 percent, to 68,000 yen ($860) per tonne. Prices for hot-rolled products will climb by 2,000 yen per tonne.
The company raised prices last month after cutting them by as much as 9 percent in June.
Sales director Kiyoshi Imamura said the firm expects Japanese steel demand to rise later this year, helped by construction projects in the country's northeast, which was devastated in last year's earthquake and tsunami.
Overseas, Chinese steelmakers are starting to cut output and the market may be close to a low, Imamura said, adding price competition from producers in both China and Russia is making it hard to find customers for Tokyo Steel's exports.
The company's pricing strategy is closely watched by Asian rivals such as POSCO, Hyundai Steel and Baosteel, which are aiming to boost exports to Japan. ($1 = 79.5200 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Writing by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Joseph Radford)
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