Taipei-China Steel Corp. (??), the largest steel maker in Taiwan, has decided to raise domestic wholesale product prices for the fourth quarter of this year after its counterparts in the United States and Europe rode the wave of rising product prices on solid global demand.
According to China Steel, it has raised domestic wholesale prices by NT$1,144 (US$37.76) or 5.6 percent per metric ton on average for the October-December period, after a 5.28 percent drop in the third quarter, when a stronger Taiwan dollar made imports cheaper.
Demand for the current quarter turned stronger, reflecting peak season effects and prompting major steel makers worldwide to ask for higher prices, China Steel said.
According to a forecast made by France-based steel firm ArcelorMittal, with the global economy recovering steel demand for 2017 is expected to grow 2.5-3.0 percent from a year earlier.
With the strong peak season effects, major U.S. steel makers have raised the price of hot rolled steel by US$94-NT$110 per metric ton for the June-August period, while hot rolled steel prices at major European firms were raised by US$35 per metric ton for July, China Steel said.
China Steel said that Mainland Chinese steel firms such as Baosteel Group Corp. (??) and Wuhan Iron and Steel Corp. (??) have also raised product prices for the third quarter by 650-1,050 Chinese yuan or US$97-US$112 per metric ton from the previous quarter.
The decision by China Steel to hike domestic wholesale product prices simply follows the moves of its counterparts in the global market.
After the latest price adjustments, China Steel has raised steel plate prices by NT$807 per metric ton, steel wire rod prices by NT$1,200, hot rolled steel prices by NT$1,195 and cold rolled steel by NT$1,054 for the fourth quarter.
The steel maker has also hiked electro-galvanized steel prices by NT$700 per metric ton, electrical steel prices by NT$1,452 and hot-dipped zinc-galvanized steel by NT$962, respectively, for the upcoming quarter.
With the hoped for product price hike in the fourth quarter, shares in China Steel made a strong showing on the local equity market, driving the gains posted by the old economy sector in recent sessions, market analysts said.
This week China Steel shares gained 3.04 percent on the Taiwan Stock Exchange.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel