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China Steel Seeking First-Quarter Iron Ore Price Cuts

China Steel Corp. (2002), Taiwan’s largest steelmaker, is in talks with iron ore suppliers to cut first- quarter prices amid declining demand.

The Kaohsiung-based steelmaker is negotiating with Vale SA (VALE3) and other producers, Hung jui-pen, the company’s public relations officer, said today by phone. China Steel and Baoshan Iron & Steel Co. have asked suppliers, including BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) and Rio Tinto Group (RIO), to reduce prices by 23 percent to cut costs, according to the Economic Daily News.

The Taiwanese company joins mainland Chinese rivals in cutting steel prices and production on expected weaker demand from automakers and builders. China Steel hasn’t joined with Boasteel or other mills to seek a cut in iron ore prices, the company said in a statement to the Taiwan stock exchange. China Steel fell 1.7 percent to NT$28.4 in Taipei trading at 13:30 p.m.

China Steel may reduce output by as much as 20 percent in December as orders for the month decline, the Taipei-based Commercial Times reported Nov. 5, citing an unidentified official at the mill. The company said on Nov. 24 that it will cut domestic prices on seven products by an average 7 percent in January and February.

To contact the reporters on this story: Adela Lin in Taipei at alin95@bloomberg.net; Jing Yang in Shanghai at jyang251@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Janet Ong at jong3@bloomberg.net

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