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China Steel lifts prices 1.32% next month, in Q4

China Steel Corp yesterday said it would raise prices for domestic deliveries by 1.32 percent next month and for next quarter to reflect higher manufacturing costs and rising steel demand.

Strong global economic recovery, a bullish prediction of Taiwan’s GDP growth of 5.4 to 6 percent, and large infrastructure projects in the US, China, Europe and India have set the tone for a strong steel market for the coming seasons, but there is still uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic and logistics issues, the nation’s largest steelmaker said.

“We are heading into the fourth quarter, traditionally the strong quarter for steel demand,” the company said in a statement. “We expect demand to keep surging, but global logistic logjams and the resurgence of COVID-19 in Southeast Asia could affect some downstream demand.”

If there is a disruption in downstream demand, the steelmaker would stagger the release of steel, it said.

“The strength of Taiwanese manufacturing is not in doubt,” it added.

Next month, electro-plated steel roll prices would increase by NT$500 per tonne, the firm said.

For the fourth quarter, prices of high-carbon rods would also rise by NT$500 per tonne, it said.

Prices of steel plates, hot-rolled steel, hot-rolled steel rolls, electroplated steel rolls and automotive steel would increase by NT$1,500 per tonne, while rod material prices would rise by NT$1,000 per tonne, it said.

Due to the implementation of decarbonization policies in some countries around the world and the strict restrictions on crude steel production in China ahead of next year’s Beijing Winter Olympics, the demand for steel is expected to remain tight, the firm said.

Steel mills undergoing repairs also affects supply, it said.

“Starting from September, plants in Europe, the US and Asia entered their annual maintenance period, including almost half of all blast furnaces in China’s steelmaking hub of Tangshan,” the company said.

US steel prices keep breaking records, with hot-rolled steel priced at US$2,100 per tonne and cold-rolled steel nearing US$2,400 per tonne, it said.

Moreover, Japan’s Nippon Steel Corp has reached a long-awaited deal with Toyota Motors Co to raise the price of steel by US$182 per tonne, the biggest price increase in 10 years, CSC said.

The agreement would have a knock-on effect on prices for home appliances, construction and shipbuilding, it added.

Although iron ore prices fell slightly, coking coal prices rose to US$350 per tonne, a 10-year high, it said.

Prices of other steelmaking materials such as electrolytic manganese are also spiking, it said.

“The overall cost of raw materials remains high, which will support international steel prices,” the company said.

As global carbon neutrality efforts take shape, most industrialized countries are putting plans for carbon taxes or the trading of carbon credits, it said.

“The era of expensive steel is upon us,” the company said.
Source: Taipei Times

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