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China Steel cuts wholesale prices due to slow demand

TAIPEI--China Steel Corp. (中鋼), the largest steel maker in Taiwan, has cut domestic wholesale prices for July and August contracts in reflection of slower demand in the third quarter, a traditional slow season in the steel industry.

It is the first time China Steel has cut its domestic wholesale prices since February and follows a move by its Chinese counterpart Baoshan Iron and Steel Co., which lowered product prices for June delivery.

China Steel said it has lowered local wholesale prices by NT$346 (US$11.50) per metric ton, or 1.64 percent on average.

The steel maker has lowered prices of hot-rolled steel, cold- rolled steel, electrical steel coil and hot-dipped zinc-galvanized by NT$479, NT$363, NT$536 and NT$53 per metric ton, respectively, for July-August contracts.

However, the steel maker has left prices of steel plates, steel wire rod, and electro-galvanized steel for July-August contracts unchanged.

China Steel said that as raw steel production in China remained high and a move by Japan to raise the consumption tax has impacted buying interest, demand for steel products in the region has been slowing down and the steel market in Asia has faced higher downward risks in pricing.

The price cut for July and August contracts in the domestic market is expected to boost the competitiveness of Taiwan's downstream steel segment, China Steel said.

In the first four months of this year, China Steel sold 64 percent of its production in the local downstream steel market.

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