TOKYO, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co Ltd said on Monday it would keep steel product prices unchanged for a fourth straight month in February, as it awaited confirmation that a recovery in steel markets would continue both at home and abroad.
Japan’s top electric-arc furnace steelmaker held prices steady for all of its steel products in January, including its main H-shaped beams.
For February, prices for steel bars, including rebar, will remain at 62,000 yen ($563) a tonne while H-shaped beams will also stay at 83,000 yen a tonne.
“Overseas steel prices have been recovering since late last year and the rally may even pick up after the China’s Lunar New Year break,” Tokyo Steel Managing Director Kiyoshi Imamura told reporters at a briefing.
Domestic demand is also solid, but labor shortage and limited processing capacities have delayed various construction projects, causing dull market activities, Imamura said.
“Steelmakers want to raise prices of products to reflect rising costs such as transportation and secondary materials, but we are keeping our product prices steady as we want to make sure markets have completely bottomed out,” he said.
Tokyo Steel’s pricing is closely watched by Asian rivals, such as South Korea’s Posco and Hyundai Steel , and China’s Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd (Baosteel) .
($1 = 110.1700 yen) (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)