China Steel hikes prices amid rising material costs

28 February 2017

China Steel Corp yesterday raised steel prices by 6.9 percent for deliveries in the second quarter of this year to reflect soaring raw material costs.The nation’s largest steelmaker said in a statement that it would raise the prices for all products by an average of NT$1,396 per tonne, with an increase of NT$1,495 per tonne for benchmark hot-rolled steel products and a rise of NT$1,600 per tonne for hot-dipped galvanized steel items.

“The price hikes are in line with an upward trend in raw material prices,” executive vice president Wang Shyi-chin said by telephone, referring to increases in major steelmaking feedstock, such as coking coal and iron ore.

Most of the Kaohsiung-based firm’s Asian rivals, including in Japan and China, have raised prices in response to surging production costs, the company said.

Steel mills in Japan have raised prices for April delivery by between US$580 and US$600, while China’s Baoshan Iron & Steel Co is also expected to raise prices for April shipments after increasing prices by US$310 over the past six months, the firm said.

The company’s latest price hike followed an increase of 12.6 percent, or an average of NT$2,265 per tonne, for this quarter’s shipments.
“The price hikes reflect strong demand in global markets,” Wang said, adding that the demand for electrical steel is especially robust amid an optimistic sentiment in the global automotive and machinery industries.

The prices of electrical steel products — which are widely used in the manufacturing of electric motors and voltage transformers — are to rise NT$2,600 per tonne, the statement said.

Global demand momentum for steel products will likely continue in the near term, supported by China’s “One Belt, One Road” economic initiative and Japan’s new infrastructure plans for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it said.

As CSC’s furnaces have been running at full steam this quarter, Wang said the company is confident about meeting its shipment target of 3.27 million tonnes for this quarter.