China Steel slashes prices for June

China Steel slashes prices for June

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China Steel Corp (CSC, 中鋼), the nation’s largest steelmaker, on Monday announced that it would slash steel prices for June deliveries after earlier cutting prices for next month, as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to weigh on market demand.

Seeking to relieve some of the pressure from the crisis on downstream industries, the company said the latest price adjustments should help customers rise up to the challenge of a business downturn.

The price cuts should also help customers reduce inventory, improve financing and increase their competitiveness, CSC said in a statement.

The company is to cut June prices by NT$900 (US$29.89) per tonne for hot-rolled steel plates and hot-rolled steel coils, as well as hot-rolled and cold-rolled steel pipes.

Prices for electro-galvanized sheets and hot-dipped galvanized steel coils would be reduced by NT$600 per tonne, CSC said.

The price adjustments, averaging 1.68 percent, represent the company’s largest cuts so far this year.

Citing similar attempts to revive the steel industry by Chinese industry peers Baoshan Iron & Steel Co (寶鋼) and Anshan Iron and Steel Group Corp (鞍鋼), CSC said it expects the industry to recover, bolstered by government stimulus measures to cushion the economic blow from the pandemic.

Earlier this month, CSC reported a 19.03 percent year-on-year drop in first-quarter revenue to NT$77.92 billion, the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2016.

While shipments for last month improved compared with February’s level, the company said costs of raw materials, including coking coal and iron ore, remained heavy.

CSC posted pre-tax losses of NT$2.01 billion for the first two months of this year.

Shares of CSC fell 2.55 percent to NT$19.10 in Taipei trading yesterday. They have dropped 17.36 percent this year, compared with the broader market’s 11.67 percent fall over the same period, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

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