Steel Authority Increases April Prices as Construction Gains
Steel Authority of India Ltd., the nation’s second-largest producer, increased prices of products for the fourth time in three months as demand for the construction-grade alloy surged.
The company raised prices of long products, or rods used in building and construction, by as much as 2.6 percent effective April 1, according to data on its website. Prices of long products have been increased by 8 percent since Feb. 1, while rates for flat grade steel, used mainly to make cars and electronic appliances, were unchanged.
Consumption of steel used in construction surged last quarter after a rise in demand for new homes and higher government spending on road and power projects. New home sales in Mumbai are expected to increase 10 percent in 2012 after declining 40 percent in the 11 months ended Feb. 29, Crisil Ltd., the Indian unit of Standard & Poor’s, said in an e-mailed statement on March 26.
“Against a raise in April’s base price, the company has also increased the discount that it offers to the buyers,” Steel Authority spokesman R.K. Singhal said over the phone from New Delhi. “The net effect on final prices is nil.”
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s government plans to attract $1 trillion in investments by 2017 to build power plants, ports and roads, seeking to boost economic growth. Asia’s third- largest economy expanded 6.1 percent in the three months ended Dec. 31 from a year earlier, government data show.
Shares of New Delhi-based Steel Authority climbed 3 percent to 98.90 rupees at the close in Mumbai, the highest level since March 14. The stock has gained 21 percent this year, compared with a 14 percent increase in the benchmark Sensitive Index. (SENSEX)
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