China Steel Corp (CSC, 中鋼), Taiwan’s biggest steelmaker, yesterday said it would keep prices in the domestic market unchanged next month, despite surges in raw material prices, including iron ore and coking coal.
Prices for iron ore and coking coal exceed US$200 per tonne, with coal having doubled its price since January, the company said in a statement.
However, considering a local COVID-19 outbreak and local downstream firms’ competitiveness, the company said it would focus on stabilizing steel prices and encouraging a steady development of the market.
“We’ve held prices steady for August so businesses do not have to fret about their orders,” CSC said. “We hope that domestic steel-dependent businesses can work together ... and take this opportunity to plan their future production accordingly.”
International demand for steel is likely to remain strong, with the IMF forecasting global economic growth to exceed 6 percent this year for the first time since the 1970s, CSC said.
“The global supply of steel is tight, and we expect that trend to continue in the second half of this year,” the company said.
At an online conference on Taiwan’s steel market, the Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI, 台灣機械公會) urged CSC to ensure order in the domestic market by regulating downstream resellers.
“About 90 percent of our members buy steel from resellers, but the prices can be extremely chaotic. That proves that resellers are hoarding and price-gouging,” TAMI secretary-general Hsu Wen-tung (許文通) said yesterday, following a meeting with CSC chairman Wong Chao-tung (翁朝棟) on Tuesday.
The association called for more transparency in the steel market, urging the creation of a platform to connect sellers and buyers, and a quota for direct purchases with CSC.
CSC said that it is open to discussion on a matchmaking platform, but that direct quotas might be difficult to implement, as steel products often require processing by third parties.
However, CSC is keeping track of resellers’ stock levels, it said, adding that it would give the TAMI access to its data to make the market more transparent.
Source : https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz