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Vice President of Nippon Steel & Sumikin: China's steel prices will remain high-grade throughout the year
According to Reuters, Japan ’s largest steel producer, Nippon Steel Corporation ’s vice president Rong Minzhi, said the company expects China ’s steel prices to remain high-grade this year as China ’s infrastructure spending boosts local construction demand.
The continued strength of the Chinese steel industry is helping to boost the export profits of Japanese steel makers. More than 40% of Japanese steel manufacturers' output is exported.
The Chinese government's economic stimulus measures have been supporting the Chinese economy. Even after the fall of the National Congress of the Communist Party of China, domestic consumption may remain stable this year, Rong Minzhi said in an interview with Reuters.
Rong Minzhi said that most Chinese steel producers are profitable, and Chinese steel prices will hover around the current level during the year, but I am a little worried about the recent sharp rise.
However, he pointed out that the possibility of US trade restrictions is still a major potential threat to the steel industry.
Any action to curb steel imports may lead to retaliation from other parties. Iron and steel products that have lost their destination will flow into Asian markets, including Japan, causing local market prices to fall. He says.
Coking coal is another worry
Rong Minzhi said that he was not too worried about the recent surge in iron ore prices, because that was following the rise in steel market prices.
Nippon Steel & Sumikin said last month that it expects the company's recurring profit to jump by 72% this fiscal year, and said that domestic and foreign demand is stable, and that the company can pass the increase in raw material costs to customers by raising product prices.
But he is worried about the price of coking coal. Australian production was disrupted by strikes and shutdowns, triggering unexpected increases in coking coal prices.
If the interruption continues, coal prices may rise further due to strong steel demand in China and India, he said.
Once the production problem is resolved, the price should fall back to about 160 US dollars per ton. He says.