Monday, 25 February 2013

Essar Steel raises prices

Two major Indian steelmakers — Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. and Essar Steel Ltd.– have raised product prices by 1,000 rupees a ton ($18) a metric ton this month despite sluggish demand, as raw material costs remain high, executives of both these companies, who didn’t wish to be named, said Monday.
Jindal Steel and Power produces mostly long products used in the construction sector, while Essar Steel makes flat products used in making automobiles, machineries and consumer durables.
India’s steel demand slowed to 3.9% in the first nine months of the financial year that began April 1, due to weaker growth in industrial output.
As a result, at least two large steel companies–state-run Steel Authority of India Ltd. 1.67% and JSW Steel Ltd. haven’t raised prices since January.
Steelmakers said it is tough to predict if they will raise prices next month, as the federal government will present its annual budget on Feb. 28.
The budget could alter the pricing structure of steel, in case there is any increase or reduction in taxes on raw materials, or imported steel and scrap products. Tight secrecy around budget proposals in India makes it impossible for industry executives to gauge what kind of tax changes are being planned for their sector.

Sandip Ginodia
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