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The company said it would raise its list prices for most products by ¥2,000 ($20) per tonne for October contracts. But for H-beams, it said it would be seeking ¥1,000 ($10) on top of the list price.

Kiyoshi Imamura, Tokyo Steel’s marketing director, pointed out that the market is ready to accept price hikes as the supply-demand balance is becoming increasingly tight.

The company is being supported by continued strength in the construction sector, which is expected to enjoy something of a boom in the second half of the fiscal year that begins next month as a number of civil engineering and reconstruction projects get underway and housing starts continue to improve.

Tokyo Steel is also being aided by a sense that the regional steel market has bottomed out after moves by Chinese mills to raise their prices.

The company only left its prices for hot-dipped galvanized coil, rebar and square hollow sections unchanged.

After the adjustment, its list price for H-beam will move up to ¥76,000 ($766) per tonne; that for hot rolled coil to ¥64,000 ($645) per tonne; and that for plate, ¥71,000 ($716) per tonne.

Tokyo Steel's move has been mirrored by Yamato Steel, which is raising its H-beam prices by ¥3,000 ($30) per tonne next month and is additionally reducing its order intake by 20% to ensure that the hikes are carried through.

The need to raise prices is being made more necessary as a result of the sharp rebound in scrap prices since last month. Tokyo Steel has just raised delivery charges to its Utsunomiya plant by ¥1,000 ($10) per tonne to ¥36,000 ($363) per tonne, the highest level in over two years.