TOKYO, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co Ltd , Japan’s top electric-arc furnace steelmaker, on Monday said it will raise prices for its heavy plates in December by 2.5 percent to reflect tight market conditions amid solid construction demand.
This will mark the company’s first hike for heavy plates in eleven months. Tokyo Steel will keep prices steady for other products, though, including its main one, H-shaped beams.
The steelmaker last raised prices for heavy plates in January, and for other products except for galvanized sheet coils in February.
“Domestic construction demand for heavy plates has been very strong and we expect this situation to continue for a while,” Tokyo Steel Managing Director Kiyoshi Imamura told reporters at a briefing.
“Also, we don’t expect imported products will easily replace local supplies due to strict requirements including quality from customers in Japan,” he said.
Prices for heavy plates will be lifted to 83,000 yen ($737) per tonne from 81,000 yen. Prices for steel bars, including rebar, will remain at 69,000 yen a tonne. H-shaped beams will stay at 89,000 yen.
Tokyo Steel’s pricing is closely watched by Asian rivals such as South Korea’s Posco and Hyundai Steel , and China’s Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd (Baosteel) .
Imamura also said the recent price plunge in some steel products such as hot coils and slabs in the rest of Asia worried the company.
“With concerns that the escalating U.S.-Sino trade spat may cool the economy in China and the rest of the world, some mills in China, Russia and Turkey are lowering their offer prices for hot coils and slabs,” he said.
“We need to closely watch the market trend in Asia.”
$1 = 112.6500 yen Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Tom Hogue