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China Steel to Cut Prices as Taiwan Government Lowers Outlook

China Steel Corp., Taiwan’s largest producer of the alloy, will cut prices for local customers after the government lowered its economic growth forecast for the year amid slowing output by manufacturers, including automakers.

Prices will fall by an average 5.1 percent for October and November contracts, the Kaohsiung-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. Prices of hot-rolled coil, a benchmark product, will fall by an average NT$806 ($27) a metric ton for October and November.

The cut will be the biggest since the 7 percent reduction for January and February contracts announced on Nov. 24. Taiwan cut its growth forecast for 2012 this month after the economy shrank more than estimated last quarter, as weakening global demand hurt exports.

China Steel fell 0.6 percent to NT$26.35 at the close in Taipei before the announcement. The stock has dropped 7.1 percent this year compared with a 6.1 percent gain in the benchmark Taiex index.

Output by manufacturers fell 0.2 percent in the second quarter, while investments in the transportation vehicle industry declined 4.48 percent, the statistics bureau said in a statement on Aug. 17.

Prices of plates will be reduced by an average NT$1,157 a ton, bar and wire rods by NT$1,800 and cold-rolled steel by NT$959, according to the statement. It will cut electro- galvanized sheet prices by NT$800 a ton, electrical sheets by NT$1,050 and hot-dipped zinc-galvanized sheets by NT$1,216.

The percentage changes for the various types of products weren’t mentioned in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yu-Huay Sun in Taipei at ysun7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net; Rebecca Keenan at rkeenan5@bloomberg.net

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