Experts forecast strong Q1 for steelmakers
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- High prices and strong demands are expected to contribute to a strong first quarter for Taiwan's steel industry, experts said yesterday.
January 2, 2013, 12:19 am TWN
They made the remarks after steel manufacturers reported sluggish sales during the first three quarters of 2012.
However, things began to change during the fourth quarter, when China Steel, Taiwan's largest steelmaker, set higher prices for products shipped overseas. Other steel operators, such as Yieh Phui, also saw an increase in orders.
Stainless steel manufacturers also saw a turnaround. Yieh United, which had posted losses for three consecutive quarters, turned a profit in October and saw strong sales in November and December.
And the upbeat sentiment will last till the first quarter, especially after Baosteel raised its January prices, experts said.
According to experts, high steel prices resulted mostly from a shortage of iron ore and other raw materials and will prop up sales at steel firms.
At the same time, strong demand for steel will also give manufacturers a boost in business. This is especially the case in China, which has launched infrastructure projects in various cities and towns.
As for 2013, analysts expect stable growth for steel manufacturers, saying the industry has reached its bottom at the end of 2012, and things will only get better in 2013.
Citing China Steel as an example, they said the firm had profit of NT$6 billion in 2012, and earnings would be at least NT$10 billion this year if nothing disastrous happens.