This is the company's first price hike in 10 months and comes after it kept prices unchanged for six months for all of its steel products, including its main H-shaped beams.

For February, prices for hot rolled coils, pickled and oiled coils, hot-dip galvanized coils and checkered coils will rise by 2,000 yen ($13.5) a metric ton while prices for other products will remain unchanged.

Prices for hot coils will increase by 1.9% to 107,000 yen ($723) a ton while H-shaped beams will remain at 127,000 yen a ton.

Tokyo Steel said in a statement that inventories for steel sheets, used largely by manufacturers, are at low levels as domestic steelmakers continue to hold down supplies while manufacturing costs continue to rise, increasing the need for the steelmakers to boost product prices.

Meanwhile, demand for steel products used in construction remains lacklustre as many projects have been delayed due to labour shortages, logistics bottlenecks, and a shortage of other construction materials, the company said.

Tokyo Steel's pricing is closely watched by Asian rivals such as South Korea's Posco and Hyundai Steel , and China's Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd (Baosteel).

($1 = 148.0700 yen)

(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi. Editing by Jane Merriman)