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China Steel Has Second Quarterly Loss on Weak Demand, Price Cuts

China Steel Corp., Taiwan’s largest producer of the alloy, posted its second consecutive quarterly loss after cutting prices because of waning demand.

The net loss was NT$712 million ($24 million) in the three months ended March 31, compared with a profit of NT$6.68 billion a year earlier, the Kaohsiung-based company said in a statement to the Taiwan stock exchange today. The average of seven analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg was a profit of NT$2.56 billion.

The Taiwanese mill and Asian peers, including Posco, the world’s third-biggest steelmaker by output, reported losses or lower earnings as Europe’s debt crisis curbed demand for the metal used in cars, ships and buildings. China Steel said Nov. 24 it would lower domestic prices for January and February by an average 7.08 percent.

Unconsolidated first-quarter sales fell 5.1 percent from a year earlier to NT$53.6 billion, China Steel said this month.

China Steel closed unchanged at NT$29 as of 1:30 p.m. in Taipei trading after the announcement. The stock has climbed 0.7 percent this year, compared with a 5.8 percent increase in the benchmark Taiex index.

Posco’s net income fell 42 percent to 538.6 billion won ($475 million) in the three months ended March 31 on a parent basis, the Pohang, South Korea-based company said April 20.

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