Nippon Steel Corp., Japan’s biggest steelmaker, expects prices to stay low this year as global producers of the metal used in cars, ships and construction continue to compete for orders amid slowing demand.
JFE Holdings Inc., Japan’s second- biggest steelmaker, will push back a decision on whether to build a $3.6 billion integrated steel mill in Vietnam, its first outside Japan, as it assesses competitive risks.
Japanese steelmakers, which yesterday reported foreign imports at a nine-year high for April, are weighing action to stem the flow of steel from abroad, risking heightened tensions with trading partners South Korea and China.
Nippon Steel Corp. and JFE Holdings Inc., Japan’s two largest mills, cut their full-year profit forecasts after prices fell and record rains and floods in Australia pushed up the cost of steelmaking coal.
Japan is sending a delegation including a former prime minister to Vietnam to discuss securing rare earth supplies, before a possible meeting between leaders of the countries on the subject at an Asean summit.