January 21, 2019 / 5:00 AM / a month ago

Tokyo Steel keeps product prices unchanged in Feb for second month

TOKYO, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co Ltd , Japan’s top electric-arc furnace steelmaker, on Monday said it will hold steel product prices steady in February because of a weaker overseas market.

This is the second month the company kept prices unchanged for all of its steel products, including its main H-shaped beams.

For February, prices for steel bars, including rebar, will remain at 69,000 yen ($629) a tonne while H-shaped beams will also stay at 89,000 yen ($812) a tonne.

“We will keep prices steady as the overseas steel market remains relatively weak though we think the prices there are at the bottom zone,” Tokyo Steel Managing Director Kiyoshi Imamura told reporters at a briefing.

Shanghai steel rebar prices have declined about 9 percent since last year’s peak in mid-August to around 3,600 yuan ($530) per tonne.

“Steel markets in China and Southeast Asia may pick up after China’s Lunar New Year holiday,” he said, referring to the long holiday scheduled for early February when millions of Chinese travel back home for family reunions.

Domestic demand, meanwhile, is expected to stay strong, with a series of construction projects for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, redevelopment projects in the Tokyo metropolitan area and plans to build new hotels across the nation to meet the growing number of foreign tourists, Imamura added.

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 = 109.6400 yen $1 = 6.7882 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; editing by Christian Schmollinger

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