Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Nippon Steel to Raise Plate Price 40%, Traders Say

The world's second-biggest maker of the metal, will raise contract prices of steel plate for domestic shipbuilders about 40 percent to a record, steel traders said.

Steel plate will increase by 30,000 yen ($278) a metric ton by Sept. 30, said the traders, who asked not to be identified because negotiations are confidential.

Nippon Steel, which forecasts a 41 percent drop in annual profit, needs to raise prices to help offset a tripling of costs for coking coal and a surge of at least 65 percent in the price of iron ore. Rising metal costs may force some car and shipbuilders, among the Tokyo-based steelmakers biggest customers, to reduce planned increases in production as global growth slows. Japan

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