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Introduction of Group Companies
From Value One Winter 2011-2012 No.35
Toyo Metal Service is unusual within the Metal One Group because the company owns its own yard for recycling steel scrap. The company plays a major role in the Kyushu-area electric furnace steel-processing value chain.
Playing a Role in the Electric Furnace Value Chain

Toyo Metal Service Corp. was established in 1987 when the Kyushu Branch of the former Nissho Iwai Corporation spun off its Materials Division from the Metal Department. Toyo Metal Service initially functioned solely as a trading company. A year later, however, the company established a scrap yard in an industrial park facing Dokai Bay in Kitakyushu's industrial zone and began handling steel scrap. For a trading company to invest in building its own scrap yard from nothing was extremely unusual at the time. The company's broad spectrum of capabilities now ranges from scrap collection to processing and warehousing. Shigehiro Sanda, who became Toyo Metal Service's president in November 2010, keenly senses the significance of the company's presence. "There is great value in a trading company owning its own scrap yard in the steel scrap commodity business," he says.

The company handles around 11,000 tonnes of steel scrap per month, and around 3,000 tonnes of that is collected and processed at the company's scrap yard. Obsolete scrap (meaning steel recovered at the end of its useful life) generated on the open market accounts for the majority of that, and this is cut with the company's 1,250-tonne guillotine shear or gas torches and processed according to standards so that steelmakers can feed it into their furnaces.

The company's main customers are its shareholder company Kyushu Steel Corporation and Tokai Steel Corporation, a subsidiary of Kyushu Steel. Both are electric furnace steelmakers. Toyo Metal Service also sells to nearby electric and blast furnace steelmakers, including the Kyushu plant of Tokyo Steel Co., Ltd.; Yawata Works (part of Nippon Steel Corporation); and Sumitomo Metals (Kokura), Ltd., through Metal One Kyushu Corporation.

The Metal One Group's integrated regional electric furnace steel-processing value chain in Kyushu handles everything from raw materials to final products. The value chain includes steel scrap dealers Toyo Metal Service and Nagasaki Scrap Center, electric furnace operators Kyushu Steel and Tokai, and trading company Metal One Kyushu. The unrivaled robustness of this lineup is its strength.

"Supply and demand are in balance in the Kyushu region's steel scrap market," Mr. Sanda says. "We procure scrap from the Kanto and Chubu regions when there are shortfalls here, and when there are surpluses we send scrap to the Kansai region, and sometimes export it overseas. Having our own yard and facilities is what makes all that possible. Metal One Structural Steel & Resource Corporation and the rest of the nationwide Metal One Group network are also of great use." In addition, the company exchanges intelligence about market and inventory conditions with other Metal One Group members in real time, contributing key information from northern Kyushu.

 

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