To counter the increasing prices of raw materials such as coal and iron ore, steelmakers, cement producers and electric utilities are getting ready to pass the higher costs onto their product prices. Nippon Steel Corp said Wednesday that it plans to ask major customers such as automobile manufacturers and shipbuilders for price hikes as early as February. Although it still has to work out the amount, Nippon Steel needs to raise prices by about 10,000 yen per ton, or 10-20%, to absorb the rising costs of materials such as coking coal and iron ore. If realized, the increase would mark the third straight year of price hikes.
The cement industry is also considering some price hikes of its own to reflect the higher prices of coal, which is used as fuel. Taiheiyo Cement Corp, which commands a 40 per cent share of the domestic market, is mulling a plan to boost its prices by 1000 yen per ton. Taiheiyo Cement raised its prices last spring.