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Industry shift forcing Nippon Steel to rethink price practices

Company caught between new international forces and old domestic market

Nippon Steel will have to change the way it sets prices for auto steel sheet.

TOKYO -- As Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal gives up the right to negotiate prices for coking coal, the steelmaker must now reassess how it passes on rising raw material costs downstream to auto and electronics makers.

Nippon Steel announced Monday that it will no longer negotiate coking coal prices with mining companies every three months, instead using spot prices calculated by S&P Global Platts and two other benchmarks to set prices. The company plans to make the switch starting with contracts for the April-June period this year.

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