Tokyo — Japan's Nippon Steel & Sumikin Stainless Steel Corp announced last week that it was raising its June prices for austenitic stainless steel cold rolled coils and plates for distributors by Yen 15,000/mt ($137/mt) and those for ferritic CRC by Yen 10,000/mt.
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NSSC does not reveal its list prices, but current market prices for 2 mm thick 304 grade CR sheet in Tokyo is around Yen 360,000/mt ($3,288/mt), while 2 mm thick 430 grade in Tokyo is around Yen 270,000/mt ($2,466/mt).
The price of 304 grade plate over 7 mm thick is around Yen 510,000/mt ($4,657/mt).
Market prices of all these grades were unchanged from a month ago, market sources said.
NSSC explained in a statement that the average price of nickel in April-May increased by 22 cents/lb to $6.42/lb, and ferrochrome by 12 cents/lb to 150 cents/lb over the same period.
The Japanese currency weakened by Yen 1.83 from March-April to an average of Yen 109.59 in April-May versus the US dollar.
Both these factors resulted in a rise in its alloy surcharge formula.
NSSC said domestic demand of stainless CRC was at a high level, due to strong demand from the construction sector via projects such as urban redevelopment and the Tokyo 2020 summer olympics.
In addition, demand from the manufacturing sector was also strong with requirements for machineries related to semi-conductors, commercial kitchens and the oil and gas industry.
Stainless plate demand has also been firm, supported by public and private investments, including inquiries from overseas customers in industries such as those related to information technology and petrochemicals.
A Tokyo-based stainless distributor said producers were taking a strong stance on shifting higher input costs to customers.
"But the price increase has been too rapid, customers have not accepted all the previous hikes by producers," he said.
NSSC since October 2017 has raised austenitic CRC and plate prices by a total of Yen 60,000/mt, and for ferritic CRC by Yen 35,000/mt.