China Steel Corp (中鋼) yesterday said it would raise the prices of hot-rolled plate and cold-rolled coils, which are commonly used in construction and auto manufacturing, by NT$500 per tonne for domestic deliveries next month, ending a three-month streak of price cuts.
Other steel products used in home appliances, computers and other applications would be flat, the company said in a statement.
Overall next quarter, steel prices for domestic deliveries would dip 0.83 percent on average sequentially, or a decline of NT$500 to NT$1,500 per tonne, due to inventory correction, the steelmaker said.
The Kaohsiung-based company said it took its cue from global peers, which have raised steel prices amid an improving industry outlook.
The global steel industry is on track to recover as China ditches its “zero COVID” policy and adopts new economic stimulus measures, including new investments on infrastructure, to help stimulate consumption and its economy, the company said.
An easing of the auto chip shortage has also led to an improvement in global auto sales, China Steel said in a statement.
Global supply has been falling, with crude steel production falling 3.9 percent year-on-year in the first 10 months of this year as steelmakers in the US and Europe stepped up output cuts, China Steel said, citing statistics from the World Steel Association.
China, which accounts for about half of the world’s apparent steel consumption, saw its steel inventory plunge 50 percent from this year’s peak, dropping to its lowest level in three years, the company said.
“That indicates inventory digestion in the world steel industry is nearing an end,” it said.
As the prices of iron ore and other commodities continue to hover at high levels, they have lent support to global steel prices, China Steel said.
“It is clear that global steel prices have hit the bottom and are ready to rebound,” it said.
Responding to improving market conditions, China’s major steelmakers started hiking hot-rolled steel for exports by US$30 per tonne, China Steel said.
Baowu Steel Group Ltd (寶武鋼鐵), the world’s biggest steelmaker, and Angang Steel Co (鞍山鋼鐵) have raised price quotes for some steel deliveries domestically next month by 50 yuan to 300 yuan (US$7.20 to US$43) per tonne, China Steel said.
US steelmakers took the lead by raising steel prices by US$66 per tonne last month and they are working on a second round of price increases, the company said.
European steelmakers are following suit and plan to increase prices by US$85 per tonne for deliveries in the first quarter, China Steel said.
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