Tue, May 16, 2006 - Page 12 News List

China Steel may increase prices in Q3

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China Steel Corp (中鋼), the nation's largest steelmaker, said it will probably increase product prices in the third quarter because of improving demand.

Prices of hot-rolled steel may rise by more than 10 percent, Chung Lo-min (鍾樂民), executive vice president of the steelmaker, said yesterday on the phone from Kaohsiung, where the company is based.

China Steel will announce prices for domestic clients on May 25, Chung said.

The steel market in China, which buys about 10 percent of the steel maker's products, is recovering after prices fell 31 percent last year. Domestic customers are also buying more of the metal for construction and manufacturing.

"It's easy to sell all kinds of products now," Chung said in a telephone interview. "Demand is quite good."

China Steel on Feb. 23 increased prices of three products for the second quarter, its first increase in three quarters.

The Chinese-language newspaper the Economic Daily News reported yesterday that China Steel would raise its domestic steel prices in the third quarter to follow the international trend, citing company chairman Chiang Yao-chung (江耀宗).

The nation's steel demand will probably grow 2.7 percent this year, after being static last year, Chiang said on Feb. 13.

Total production will be flat from last year, he said.

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