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Steel prices go up; third time since Dec

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Feb. 5

STEEL prices are up yet again, the third time since December. Although steel prices have not been officially increased, the effective prices of the commodity have gone up this week by around 10 per cent with the primary producers charging more from customers by way of withdrawal of the rebate.

According to secondary steel manufacturers, the increase in hot-rolled steel prices has been about Rs 1,800-Rs 2,500 per tonne while the hike in the cold-rolled steel category has been in the range of Rs 1,700-Rs 2,200 per tonne. Galvanised steel prices have also gone up by about Rs 2,000-Rs 2,500 per tonne.

While secondary steel consumers and other actual users are peeved with the latest round of price hike, the fourth since August 2003, primary steel producers say that this time round, it is not a price hike per se, as the price quotations have not changed and transactions are being carried out at offer prices.

The only difference, according to an official in a primary steel producing company, is that the rebate that was given to buyers earlier has been withdrawn. In the case of long-term contracts, however, the supplies are still at the old prices, which includes the rebates, the official said. Industry sources also noted that no new price quotations or rate lists are being made available to the buyers.

As of now, the primary domestic steel producers are charging customers Rs 4,180 per tonne more than the freight on board (f.o.b.) prices at which they are exporting.

While the domestic price in the first week of February stands at Rs 23,500 per tonne, the f.o.b. export price is pegged at Rs 19,230 per tonne, according to industry sources.

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