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Japan's NSSC keeps spot stainless CRC, plate prices at current levels

Tokyo — Japan's Nippon Steel & Sumikin Stainless Tuesday said it has decided tomaintain its spot austenitic cold rolled coil and plate, as well as ferriticCRC prices for April sales contracts at current levels, the company said in astatement.

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NSSC does not reveal its list prices but current market price for 304grade CR sheet (2mm thick) in Tokyo is around Yen 360,000/mt ($3,374/mt),while 430 grace CR sheet (2mm thick) is around Yen 270,000/mt ($2,530/mt). Theprice of 304 grade plate over 7mm thick is around Yen 510,000/mt ($4,780/mt),all unchanged from early March, market sources said.

NSSC said the average price of nickel during February-March increased by$0.12/lb, from those in January-February to $6.12/l,b while the average priceof ferrochrome did not change during the same period.

However, the Japanese Yen strengthened by Yen 2.39 during February-March,from those in January-February, to Yen 108.02 to $1.

These factors did not result in changes to NSSC's alloy prices forproduct prices in the company's alloy surcharge formula.

In its statement, the company said that Japan's demand for stainless CRChas been healthy. There has been demand from the construction industry forurban redevelopment and projects related to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic, as well asthose from industrial machineries and commercial kitchens.

The demand for stainless plate has also been firm from public investmentssuch as sluice gate related projects and IT-related private investments.

When contacted, an NSSC spokeswoman told S&P Global Platts that thecompany's CRC plants at Kashima, near Tokyo, and Hikari, in western Japan, aswell as its plate plant at Yawata, in western Japan, had been running at fullcapacities and were expected to be kept running at high levels for a while.

The company had added a total of Yen 40,000/mt ($375/mt) to the spot saleprices of its austenitic CRC and plate prices, and Yen 20,000/mt to ferriticCRC since October 2017.

"We are also negotiating with our long-term contract customers to acceptthe similar range of hike for these products," the spokeswoman said.

--Yoko Manabe, yoko.manabe@spglobal.com

--Edited by Norazlina Juma'at, norazlina.jumaat@spglobal.com