Fri, Aug 25, 2006 - Page 11 News List

China Steel to increase prices by average of 4 percent

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China Steel Corp (中鋼), Taiwan's largest steelmaker, said it will increase prices of seven products for domestic customers in the fourth quarter by an average 4 percent because of rising demand.

The company will raise prices of hot-rolled steel, a benchmark product, by NT$780 (US$24) a tonne, executive vice president Chung Lo-min (鍾樂民) said by phone yesterday from Kaohsiung, where the company is based. The price increases take effect in October.

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

"We're raising prices to reflect Taiwan's market conditions," Chung said. "Demand in Europe, the US, Japan, as well as Taiwan is good."

The Taiwanese steelmaker is raising prices for steel plates by an average NT$210 a tonne, those for bar-and-wire rod by NT$910, and those for cold-rolled products by NT$590, it said in an e-mailed statement.

Prices of electro-galvanized sheets will rise by NT$500, and those for electrical sheets by NT$1,000, while those of hot-dip zinc-galvanized sheets will go up by NT$520.

The price gains follow an average 11 percent increase in the third quarter and slightly more than 1 percent in the April-June period.

Hot-rolled steel is used to make cold-rolled steel, consumed along with zinc-galvanized sheets in the production of car bodies and home appliances.

Baoshan Iron & Steel Co (寶山鋼鐵), China's largest steelmaker, said on Aug. 22 it will cut hot-rolled product prices by 5.1 percent for the final quarter after steel output in China rose every month this year from a year earlier.

Shares of China Steel rose NT$0.15 to close at NT$26.4 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday.

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