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Japan's Local Scrap Prices Continue Strong
Japan's domestic market prices of locally available ferrous scrap continue strong. For an indicator, top electric steelmaker Tokyo Steel Mfg Co raised what the company pays for local ferrous scrap by Y500-1,000/ton all grades from Aug 2 at its three works in the west of the nation. Also, major integrated steelmaker JFE Steel Corp has its share of influence on domestic market conditions for local ferrous scrap with the purchasing of material at its West Japan works. The supply-demand environment for local ferrous scrap remains tight, particularly in West Japan, while domestic market conditions show no signs of a weakening.

Japan's steel companies plan to produce a total of 3,014,000 tons of small bars in the second quarter (July-September) of fiscal 2007, according to an announcement by the Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry. The planned production volume of small bars indicates a decrease of 214,000 tons or 6.6% from a quarter ago due to factors such as summer production cutbacks and EAF shutdowns at the works of various electric steelmakers. But the planned production volume is higher by 65,000 tons or 2.2% from the second quarter of fiscal 2006.

In the Kanto area, local ferrous scrap prices are edging up at a time when Tokyo Steel Mfg Co keeps the purchase prices unchanged of local ferrous scrap at its Utsunomiya works. Benchmark prices of No2 HMS are Y35,500-36,000/ton delivered steelworks. Other electric steelmakers Asahi Industries Co, Itoh Iron & Steel Co, and Oji Steel Co increased their purchase prices of local ferrous scrap by Y500/ton each last week. In contrast, another electric steelmaker Jonan Steel Corp reduced its purchase prices by Y500/ton and stopped intakes Aug 2 at its Kawaguchi works.

In the Tokyo Bay area, electric steelmaker Sanko Steel Co has entered a period of stopping intakes of local ferrous scrap at its Hiratsuka works. The move is intended to meet trouble with the platform scale and the rolling line in the wake of thunderstorms that attacked Kanagawa prefecture July 29-30.

Under the existing circumstances, arrivals of local ferrous scrap vary in an average 90-100% of what is required at the works of various electric steelmakers operating in the Kanto area. But the arrivals are trending upward on the whole and settling down.

In the Tokyo Bay area, ex yard prices of local ferrous scrap remain unchanged. Benchmark prices are Y36,000-36,500/ton for No2 HMS; Y40,500-41,000/ton for P&S scrap, and Y41,500/ton for new production scrap.

In the Osaka area, meanwhile, the local ferrous scrap market shows a continued strong tone. Among electric steelmakers, Osaka Steel Co keeps its purchase prices unchanged of local ferrous scrap, while Kyoei Steel Ltd has raised what it pays. Benchmark prices of No2 HMS are up to Y38,500-39,000/ton delivered steelworks, with a low of Y37,000 and a high of around Y40,000.

Electric steelmakers operating in the Osaka area enjoy improved arrivals of local ferrous scrap that equate with an average 95-98% of required amounts at their works. Having an impact are delays in export shipments of ferrous scrap cargoes from the Kansai federation of ferrous scrap dealers. There is a possibility that the Osaka market for local ferrous scrap will move up again if electric steelmakers opted to stock up on material in preparations for the bon holidays.
last modified : Thu 09 Aug, 2007 [10:15]
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