Sat, Aug 23, 2003 - Page 10 News List

Sumitomo Metal ponders tie-up with China Steel

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Sumitomo Metal Industries Ltd, Japan's third-biggest steelmaker, is considering a plan to sell the metal in China with Taiwan's top steelmaker China Steel Corp (中鋼), a spokesman for the Japanese company said.

Japan's Sankei Shimbun reported today that the two companies had signed an initial agreement to share the risks of selling processed steel in China.

Sumitomo Metal spokesman Toshifumi Matsui said the company is considering a plan to sell processed steel with China Steel. Matsui declined to give more details.

Sumitomo Metal is the latest Japanese steelmaker to seek an international partner in a bid to tap surging demand for steel in China. Rival Nippon Steel Corp last month announced a plan to build a cold-rolled steel plant in China with Baoshan Iron & Steel Co(寶鋼), the country's top steelmaker, to meet demand from automakers.

An agreement between Sumitomo Metal and China Steel would represent an extension of existing ties, Matsui said.

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