Steel prices dipped up to 14 per cent in May: Govt | business | Hindustan Times
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Steel prices dipped up to 14 per cent in May: Govt

Prices of flat and long steel products have plunged by up to 14 per cent in May following government's measures to control inflation in the steel sector, says a latest report of the Steel Ministry.

business Updated: Jun 29, 2008 11:21 IST

Prices of flat and long steel products have plunged by up to 14 per cent in May following government's measures to control inflation in the steel sector, says a latest report of the Steel Ministry.

"The price of flat steel products came down by about 8 per cent in May from the level of April. Similarly, the prices of long steel products reduced in the range of 10 to 12 per cent," the Steel Ministry said in its monthly summary report for May.

It added that the decline in domestic steel prices was despite nearly 10 per cent increase in international rates and depreciation of Indian Rupee against US dollar.

Among others, the government had on May 7 convened a meeting of major steel producers to discuss issues affecting the steel sector.

Endorsing government's concern that steel prices were exerting inflationary pressures on the economy, major steel producers including SAIL, Tata, JSW, Ispat and JSPL had reduced prices of flat products by Rs 4,000 per tonne and that of rebars and structural steel by Rs 2,000 per tonne.

The major steel producers had also assured the Prime Minister that they would hold their price line for the next three months till July. Following the price reduction by major producers, the secondary manufacturers had also cut the rates of flat products by Rs 4,000 a tonne.

Industry sources said steel prices have gone up by about 50 per cent in the last one year, adding to spiralling inflation, which has touched a 13-year high of 11.42 per cent.

As per government data, however, prices of pig iron, wire rods, plates, HR and CR coils, galvanised plates, ingot and billets declined 9 to 14 per cent in May as compared to April.

The government data, which is based on figures of the economic research unit of the Joint Plant Committee under the Steel Ministry, said pig iron prices declined from Rs 36,500 per tonne in April to Rs 33,000 in May in Mumbai market.

Similarly, wire rods became cheaper by Rs 6,550 and was selling at Rs 37,450 in May. HR coil rate too declined from Rs 48,450 to Rs 42,950 while that of CR coil from Rs 52,000 to Rs 46,500.

During April-May, country's carbon steel production increased by 3.8 per cent to 8.25 million tons while that of pig iron declined by 6.3 per cent to 0.80 million tons as compared to the corresponding period last year.

During the said period, country's finished carbon steel exports registered a 23.7 per cent decline while imports dipped by 5.4 per cent in comparison to the corresponding period in 2007-08.