China Steel, Taiwan's top steelmaker, yesterday said it will slash domestic prices in April and May on weak demand during the global downturn, but it expects a pickup on stronger demand from China.
Asia's 17th largest steelmaker said it will lower the prices by an average 14 per cent, its second straight cut, reflecting weak demand.
The cut was smaller than a 18 per cent reduction by South Korea's Dongkuk Steel in ship plate prices in January, but deeper than the 11 per cent cut in December by Hyundai Steel of rebar, mainly construction steel.
But Baoshan Iron and Steel Co, the listed unit of China's major steelmaker Baosteel Group, recently raised prices for key steel products for March after hiking prices for February that halted five straight months of price declines.
"The decision [of the cut] is aimed to help local downstream makers to aggressively win orders in overseas markets," China Steel said in a statement. "Steel prices in most countries have stablised on supply cuts. Those of China, in particular, have risen since late November," it said.