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China Steel To Raise Steel Prices Next Year

Nov 29, 2017

China Steel Corp (CSC) on Nov. 24 raised steel prices by 1.5 percent for deliveries in the first quarter of next year to reflect an uptrend in international steel prices.

Taiwan's largest steelmaker is to increase prices by NT$327 (US$10.90) per tonne for shipments next quarter, CSC said in a statement after a quarterly meeting to decide domestic prices for its downstream clients.

Among its major products, steel plate would rise by NT$455 per tonne and its benchmark hot-rolled products would increase by NT$214 per tonne, while hot-dipped galvanized steel is to go up by NT$100 per tonne, the statement said.

The company’s latest price hike followed an increase of 5.6 percent, or an average of NT$1,144 per tonne, for this quarter’s shipments.

The price adjustment came as CSC forecast that global steel prices would continue to increase over the coming months, as the global economy is expected to recover at a faster pace, the company said, citing an IMF report released last month.

The IMF forecast that the global economy would grow 3.6 percent this year and 3.7 percent next year, compared with 3.2 percent last year, its latest World Economic Outlook report said.

Rising demand in the world’s major steel markets, such as China and the US, is very likely to boost prices in the near term, CSC said, adding that global demand is expected to grow 2.8 percent this year and 1.6 percent next year on an annual basis.

In response to surging needs, steel prices in the US increased by more than US$77 per tonne last month and those in Japan also continued a rally before recent shipments, the company said.

Apart from the demand side, Beijing’s latest measures to curb excess steel supply — which aims to reduce production by nearly 60 million tonnes of steel products from November to March — is also likely to stimulate global steel prices in the first quarter of next year.

Despite an upward trend in steel prices, CSC said its price adjustments did not fully reflect rising costs because the company wants to ensure that its downstream clients in Taiwan can compete with their foreign peers.

As a result, prices for cold-rolled steel products and galvanized coils are to remain unchanged from this quarter, it said.

CSC shares fell 1.01 percent to close at NT$24.4 in Taipei trading yesterday before the price hike announcement, underperforming the broader market, which stayed flat from the previous session.


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