China Steel raises April, May wholesale prices
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- China Steel, Taiwan's biggest steelmaker, yesterday raised wholesale prices for April and May on the back of stronger demand.
February 28, 2013, 12:20 am TWN
“The international steel market has become more bullish, while prices in China have been going up for three months in a row,” the company said.
“Orders are strong for the first half, and we have a positive outlook for the period,” it added.
The firm has raised wholesale prices by an average NT$802 a ton, or 3.81 percent.
By product, hot-rolled steel has seen a price increase of NT$1,200 a ton, the same margin as Chung Hung Steel, which announced its new prices Tuesday.
The price hike was in keeping with market expectations that China Steel prices were low and had room for further increases.
At the beginning of the year, most analysts had forecast that China Steel would raise April and May prices by less than NT$1,000 a ton. Yet as time went on, analysts had raised their forecasts to above NT$1,000.
The firm had a strong start for the year. For January, pretax profit was NT$1.44 billion. Based on China Steel's market capitalization of NT$152.725 billion, earnings per share for January would be NT$0.09, higher than market expectations.
Orders remained strong in February, but a reduction in shipments due to the Lunar New Year break might have impacted the firm's earnings this month. Earnings are set to increase again in March, analysts said.