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Baosteel unveils mild increase in prices

(Shanghai Daily)

09:51, December 12, 2012

BAOSHAN Iron and Steel Co unveiled a mild increase in January product prices as China's largest listed mill is banking that demand will improve amid a stable economy.

The price for hot-rolled coil will rise 80 yuan (US$12.8) per ton while that for cold-rolled products will increase 60 yuan per ton, the Shanghai-based steelmaker said yesterday. Its pricing policy is seen as a benchmark for the industry.

Baosteel earlier raised prices for December after leaving them unchanged for October and November.

"Downstream demand has improved a bit but the market is still depressed," Wang Jinhua of Mysteel Research Institute said. She said demand from the construction sector is weak but that from machinery and home appliance makers is improving.

China's vehicle sales increased 8.2 percent in November from a year earlier after gaining 5.3 percent. Baosteel supplies about half of China's auto sheet market.

China's industrial output and retail sales rose at their fastest pace in eight months in November, pointing to a pick-up in the economy.

A separate report by the National Bureau of Statistics yesterday showed crude steel output in China rose 14 percent annually in November partly due to improved demand from some overseas markets.

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