China Steel Reduces Prices After Taiwan Economic Growth Slows

China Steel Corp., Taiwan’s largest producer, will cut prices after the island’s economic growth slowed, reducing demand from automakers and other buyers.

Prices will fall by an average 5 percent for September contracts, the Kaohsiung-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. No percentage changes were given for specific products. The price cut will be the biggest since the 7 percent reduction for January and February contracts announced on Nov. 24.

Taiwan’s government lowered its economic growth forecast for the year after gross domestic product expanded at the slowest pace in more than two years in the first quarter. Production of base metals and machinery declined, the cabinet’s statistics bureau said in a statement May 25.

Yulon Motor Co., Taiwan’s biggest automaker by market value, said on July 10 sales the previous month fell 15 percent from a year earlier.

China Steel rose 0.6 percent to close at NT$27.2 in Taipei trading before the announcement. The stock has fallen 5.6 percent this year, compared with the 1.3 percent gain in the benchmark Taiex index.

Prices of hot-rolled coil, a benchmark product, will fall by an average NT$992 ($33) a metric ton for September, China Steel said in the statement. Plate prices will be cut by an average NT$1,410 a ton, bar and wire rods by NT$1,300 and cold-rolled steel by NT$949, according to the statement.

The company will also cut electro-galvanized sheet prices by NT$1,000 a ton, electrical sheets by NT$929, and hot-dipped zinc-galvanized sheets by NT$1,200, according to the statement.

Taiwan’s gross domestic product rose 0.39 percent in the three months through March from a year earlier, the statistics bureau said May 25. The bureau revised its GDP forecast for 2012 to 3.03 percent from an April estimate of 3.38 percent.

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