CSC to hike prices as demand rises

PICKUP::The steelmaker cited the upcoming seasonal spike in demand and the good prospects of the US and Chinese construction sectors as factors for adjusting prices

By Camaron Kao  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Feb 28, 2013 - Page 13

China Steel Corp (CSC, 中鋼), the nation’s largest steelmaker, yesterday said it would raise prices for its domestic products in April and May by an average of 3.81 percent on the back of rising demand and an increase in the costs of raw materials.

The price increase will be the third consecutive hike on CSC products — except for electro-galvanized steel sheets — and will also be the fastest price increase over the past three months.

“The prospects of the automobile, energy and construction industries — which are heavy consumers of steel — in the US are good,” CSC said in a statement.

In additon, demand has also picked up because of a rebound in the construction industry and a buildup in infrastructure in China, the steelmaker said.

CSC said the price increase would help it mitigate the effect on profits caused by the rising costs of importing iron ore.

Iron ore is a key raw material for steelmaking and CSC’s announcemtn follows in the steps of similar measures taken by its Chinese and South Korean peers.

CSC said it planned to raise steel prices further in the near future when the seasonal demand for inventory replenishment picks up after the second quarter.

Prices for benchmark hot-rolled sheets and coils would rise by NT$1,089 per tonne for April and May shipments, the firm said.

Prices for cold-rolled sheets and coils, which are used mainly in the automotible industry, are to be raised by NT$896 per tonne, while those for electrical sheets will be raised by NT$602 per tonne.

Steel bar and rod prices will be increased by NT$700 per tonne and those for hot-dipped, zinc-galvanized sheets by NT$901 per tonne.

The company will only slightly increase the price of steel plates, primarily used in construction, by NT$78 a tonne, citing cheap steel plate imports from countries including Japan, South Korea and India.

The price of electro-galvanized sheets, which remained unchanged when the steelmaker adjusted its prices last month, are set to increase by NT$800.

“We kept the prices of electro-galvanized sheets unchanged last month because our clients were experiencing a dire financial situation. We decided to increase the prices this month because our clients’ sentiment toward the market has improved,” CSC vice president Liu Jih-gang (劉季剛) said by telephone yesterday.