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China’s steel market may be recovering

CHINA’s largest steelmaker has raised prices for key steel products for March, halting decisively five months of price declines.

Baoshan Iron and Steel (Baosteel) had halted two-thirds of its galvanising steel production facilities in late 2008 due to weakening demand.

The company has now raised the sale prices for major hot-rolled and cold-rolled steel products. The new March 2009 prices for hot-rolled steel products will be at US$547 per tonne, while cold-rolled products have been set at US$618 per tonne.

According to analysts, Baosteel may be optimistic regarding the Chinese market with the Lunar New Year holidays approaching. It is hoped this move will boost the confidence of other steel makers.

The prices are still slightly depressed, however, with uncertain demand from the automotive and home appliance industries.