Stocks of hot rolled, cold rolled and coated coils held by Japanese steel producers, distributors and coil centers rose 4.4% month on month to 4.29 million mt at end August, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp data showed.
A Tokyo-based distributor Tuesday attributed the increase to holidays and slower deliveries due to severe weather in the month, and said it was likely to be temporary.
“Flat stocks usually decrease in autumn with firmer demand, so we won’t worry much about the stock increase in August,” he said.
Of the total, stocks held by producers rose 10% on month to 2.04 million mt, by distributors edged up 0.7% from July to 867,000 mt and at coil centers edged down 0.2% to 1.48 million mt. By product, stocks of HRC rose 5.5% on month to 2.17 million mt and of CRC rose 2% from July to 800,000 mt. Coated coil stocks rose 4.4% from July to 1.43 million mt.
Another distributor in Tokyo said stocks at end September were usually lower than the month before, but noted this year there were strong typhoons in September that had delayed distribution.
“As overall flat steel demand has been firm and is expected to become stronger, stock levels may stay above 4 million mt — seen as an adequate level — but the supply-demand balance will be kept tight,” he said.
NSSMC officials were unavailable for comment on the data Tuesday.