May 21, 2018 / 3:34 AM / 7 months ago

Tokyo Steel to maintain product prices in June for a fourth straight month

TOKYO (Reuters) - Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co Ltd, Japan’s top electric-arc furnace steelmaker, said on Monday that it would keep product prices steady in June to ensure its earlier hikes were absorbed by the market.

This is the fourth straight month that the company has kept prices the same.

Tokyo Steel’s pricing strategy is closely watched by Asian rivals such as South Korea’s Posco and Hyundai Steel Co, as well as China’s Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd (Baosteel).

Prices for steel bars, including rebar, will stay steady at 69,000 yen ($621) a tonne, while prices for its main product, H-shaped beams, will stay unchanged at 89,000 yen.

“Activities in the local steel industry are picking up, but our price hikes earlier this year have not been fully absorbed by the market,” Tokyo Steel’s Managing Director Kiyoshi Imamura told reporters at a briefing.

“But we are hopeful that the time will become ripe soon for more hikes as end-users such as makers of cars, electronics and machineries as well as trading houses which handle steel-making raw materials have reported strong earnings for the year just ended, outperforming steelmakers’ results,” he said.

Strong demand in China, the world’s biggest steel consumer, is also expected to continue this year, supporting global steel markets, he added.

Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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