Construction material demand is rising as the nation begins the enormous task of rebuilding the areas devastated by the March disaster, while redevelopments projects in Tokyo also push up cement and steel prices.
Tokyo cement prices have risen this month to around JPY10,600/t from roughly JPY10,100, the first increase in two years. Taiheiyo Cement Corp, Sumitomo Osaka Cement Co, Tokuyama Corp.
Demand for construction projects involving office buildings and hotels in central Tokyo has also buoyed cement prices. "Construction demand is soaring in reaction to the drop-off in capital spending that followed the Lehman shock," says Atsushi Takagi, analyst at Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities Co.