Steel prices stabilise as demand shrinks

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Steel companies , that raised product prices four times in the current fiscal year, have not increased rates in March so far, owing to a marginal fall in demand for the alloy used mainly in cars and consumer goods . 

According to the top four primary steel companies, Tata Steel, SAIL, JSW Steel and Essar Steel , prices of hot rolled coils, the base grade steel product, have remained at an average of 38,000 a tonne. 

The rates have remained unchanged despite a sharp increase in the spot prices of key raw materials such as iron ore and coking coal. "Most companies buy coking coal through quarterly contracts and are hence protected till March," said an industry executive. 

"There has been no increase in prices so far as the market is not ready for a hike," said a spokesman for state-owned SAIL that has a large share of the construction grade steel segment. 

Tata Steel, the second largest steelmaker and the world's seventh biggest in capacity, has not raised local prices, said traders, adding that the European unit has raised speciality steel product prices. Tata Steel hasn't issued any statement so far. 

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