China Steel Corp (CSC, 中鋼), the nation’s largest steelmaker, yesterday announced price cuts for products delivered in May to boost market confidence amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The move matches recent price adjustments by its Chinese peers, including Baoshan Iron & Steel Co (寶鋼), China’s largest steelmaker, which lowered steel prices for next month, CSC said.
Although the pandemic has had minor effects on Taiwan’s supply chain, due to the nation’s prompt efforts to contain the virus, CSC said it would nevertheless trim quoted steel prices to stimulate shipments for downstream vendors.
The company said it would cut by NT$300 (US$9.90) per tonne prices of hot-rolled steel plates, hot-rolled steel coils, hot-rolled and cold-rolled steel pipes, electro-galvanized sheets and pre-painted galvanized steel coils, it said in a company statement.
The price of electrical sheets would remain unchanged.
In a separate statement yesterday, it said that revenue contracted 4.23 percent year-on-year to NT$26.06 billion last month.
Due to gradually stabilizing steel markets, the decline is notably smaller compared with double-digit annual declines that persisted for five consecutive months.
The company posted pre-tax losses of NT$794.39 million, narrowing January’s losses of NT$1.26 billion.
It lost NT$2.06 billion in the first two months of the year, compared with a profit of NT$3.45 billion in the same period a year earlier.
In other news, Taiwan Cement Corp (台灣水泥) yesterday posted record net profits of NT$24.21 billion for last year, a 14.31 percent year-on-year increase.
Earnings per share increased from NT$4.08 to NT$4.43 last year, while revenue last year declined 1.45 percent on an annual basis.
The company’s board of directors yesterday proposed a cash dividend of NT$2.5 per common share, representing a payout ratio of 56.43 percent.
Facing slipping share prices, Taiwan Cement also announced a share buyback plan to provide employees with stock rewards.
The company said it would start purchasing up to 8 million common shares on the open market from Monday until May 22 at prices between NT$25.90 and NT$61.95, adding that it would continue purchases if share prices fall below that range.
Its shares yesterday closed at NT$36.95, a 9.97 percent increase, in Taipei trading.
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