China Steel Corp. (中鋼), the largest steel maker in Taiwan, has raised its wholesale prices for July-August deliveries by more than 10 percent after a similar hike for June contracts in reflection of an uptrend in international steel product prices.

In a meeting held Friday, China Steel decided to raise its domestic wholesale prices by NT$1,701 (US$52.18) or 10.3 percent per ton on average for deliveries scheduled in July and August.

In April, China Steel hiked product prices in the local wholesale market by 10.5 percent per ton on average for June contracts, following a 3.1 percent increase for April-May contracts and a 2.3 percent hike for March deliveries.

China Steel said that with international steel prices staging a significant rebound, sentiment has been improving toward the global steel market which had been long depressed by worries over a supply glut. Many in the industry have rushed to build up their inventories to further push up product prices, China Steel added.

According to China Steel, domestic steel prices in the United States, one of the major steel buyers in the world, rose more than US$100 per ton in May, while China, another large steel consumption country, kept pushing up its domestic steel prices in June.

A recovery in global steel demand reflected the strong job market in the U.S., where home sales have turned solid to stimulate building material consumption, China Steel said. The steel supplier added that the economy in the eurozone has been growing at a steady pace, Japan continued to pump funds into its market, and China maintained ample liquidity, which has given an additional boost to the global steel sector.

China Steel said that there have been signs that many steel suppliers in the downstream segment in Taiwan have witnessed increasing orders placed by both local and foreign clients.

Inventory levels in the global steel market remain at lows, which could trigger another round of inventory build-up by many steel makers in the world, paving the path of an additional price hike for the third quarter of this year, China Steel said.

After the latest price adjustments, China Steel has raised steel plate prices by NT$1,100 per metric tons, steel wire rod prices by NT$1,600, hot rolled steel prices by NT$1,871 and cold rolled steel prices by NT$2,157 for July-August delivery.

The steel maker has also hiked electro-galvanized steel prices by NT$500 per metric ton, electrical steel prices by NT$1,392 and hot-dipped zinc-galvanized steel prices by NT$ 1,778 for July-August contracts.


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