TOKYO, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co Ltd , Japan’s top electric-arc furnace steelmaker, said on Monday it will raise its product prices in September by up to 5.4 percent to reflect strong demand at home and abroad as well as higher materials costs.
The company will boost prices of 11 products by 2,000 yen to 3,000 yen ($18.30 to $27.5) per tonne, it said in a press briefing on Monday. That is between 2.3 percent and 5.4 percent, Reuters calculations show.
This is Tokyo Steel’s first hike in seven months.
“Overseas steel markets have been strong thanks to China’s solid local demand and a continued decline in exports from China,” Tokyo Steel’s managing director Kiyoshi Imamura told reporters.
“Japan’s local market is also getting tight due to falling steel inventories and healthy construction demand from a number of development projects in Tokyo metropolitan areas,” he said.
Tokyo Steel has also faced rising costs of steel scrap, electrode and firebrick as well as higher electricity prices, he added.
“If all those conditions continue, we may consider another price hike next month,” Imamura said.
Prices for steel bars, including rebar, will increase by 3,000 yen, or 5.4 percent, to 59,000 yen ($540) a tonne, while prices for U-shaped steel-sheet piles will rise by 2,000 yen, or 2.3 percent, to 90,000 yen a tonne.
Prices for the company’s main product, H-shaped beams used in construction, will remain unchanged at 78,000 yen a tonne, but this represents an actual hike of 3,000 yen from current market prices which have been below list prices, Imamura said. A similar price hike would apply to three other products selling below list price, he added.
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). ($1 = 109.2300 yen) (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Richard Pullin)