Steel prices improve
By A Business Correspondent
After touching a 20-year low in 2001-02, steel prices rose by around Rs 700 per tonne in April 2002 and by about Rs 700-800 per tonne in May. Prices of steel had declined by Rs 2,300-2,500 per tonne last year. Major steel manufacturers expect a further increase of Rs 500-600 per tonne in steel prices in the near future.
The increase in steel prices is not entirely due to increased demand, which has moved up only marginally. Steel manufacturers feel that prices are going up largely because of the feel-good factor, which is on account of the sharp price rise in the global markets. In the US, for instance, prices jumped up by $75-100 per tonne; prices of some products rose by as much as $125 per tonne. The price increase in the US was due to the various measures announced by the Bush Administration. Steel prices in other parts of the world have also gone up by $40 per tonne. Domestic prices too went up in tandem. Even after the recent spurt in steel prices, the losses suffered last year owing to the fall in prices has not yet been fully recovered.