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China Steel hopes price cuts can boost Dec. sales

TAIPEI--China Steel Corp., one of Taiwan's leading steelmakers, said Saturday the company has lowered its domestic wholesale product prices for December contracts to boost buying amid uncertainty over the economic fundamentals.

While leaving prices of steel plates, cold-rolled steel, hot-dipped zinc galvanized steel and electro-galvanized steel unchanged, prices of other steel product items have been cut by 3.31 percent, or NT$673 (US$23) per metric ton on average from October-November contracts, China Steel said.

The cut in wholesale prices was the third reduction made by China Steel in the second half of this year due to weakening global demand.

The company cut its wholesale prices for September contracts by about 5 percent and the prices for October-November contracts by 5.11 percent.

China Steel said demand from Europe remains weak as debt-ridden European countries have tightened their belts to take on piling debt problems.

The steel maker said although the United States reported improving economic data amid rising liquidity on the back of a third round of quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve, and China is planning to pump funds into local infrastructure, the global economy remains haunted by uncertainty.

At home, Taiwan has repeatedly revised downward its gross domestic product growth forecast for 2012 amid weakness of the world's economy, which has had an impact on steel demand, China Steel said.

Due to falling demand, the global steel industry has suffered a supply glut and is unlikely to benefit from the peak-season effect in the fourth quarter, China Steel said.

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