Tokyo Steel Raises Prices for First Time in Over Two Years

  • Increases follow recovery in prices in biggest producer China
  • Japan's biggest steelmakers saw stocks rally last week

Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co. raised its main product prices for the first time in over two years in response to gains in China, the world’s largest market for the metal.

Japan’s biggest steel producer from scrap metal set its May contracts for H-beam steel at 72,000 yen ($667) a metric ton, up 5,000 yen on April, according to a statement Monday. That’s the first increase since January 2014. It raised its hot-rolled coil prices by 3,000 yen to to 53,000 yen a ton, for the first increase since December 2013.

Japan’s steelmakers rallied last week as prices in China, which accounts for about half of global production, recovered from a steep slump amid signs that the nation’s economy is stabilizing. Tokyo Steel’s larger peer, JFE Holdings Inc., gained 14 percent after Credit Suisse Group AG upgraded it due to its exposure to a resurgent Asian market.

The rally in Chinese product prices “is lifting steel export prices across the world,” Kiyoshi Imamura, managing director of Tokyo Steel, told a briefing in Japan’s capital. Imamura also cited gains in the price of scrap iron, a key raw material for electric furnaces, for the increase.

Tokyo Steel pared a loss of 4.7 percent to trade 2.4 percent lower at 666 yen by 11:24 a.m. Other Japanese mills were also lower on the day.

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