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December 15, 2009

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Steel prices likely to rise in 2010

DOMESTIC steel prices are still expected to climb in 2010 in anticipation of a rise in raw material costs and on higher demand, an official of the China Iron and Steel Association said.

"Demand for steel products will rise in 2010 as the economy continues to recover and output will also rebound at a faster pace," said Qi Xiangdong, deputy secretary-general of the association.

Baoshan Iron and Steel Co, the country's biggest steel maker, announced late Thursday that it will raise its factory gate price between 300 yuan (US$49.93) and 600 yuan a ton from January.

Last Friday, Wuhan Iron and Steel said its price will rise between 100 yuan and 550 yuan a ton.

The National Bureau of Statistics said last Friday that crude steel output totaled 47.26 million tons in November, down 8.7 percent from the previous month, but it jumped 37.4 percent from the same period last year.

Exports of steel totaled 2.85 million tons in January, down 3.39 percent from a year ago. The combined steel exports in the first 11 months of this year totaled 21.26 million tons, 62.1 percent lower from the same period last year.

"Domestic output is currently at a rather low level, which may see a jump early next year, and steel producers also project a rise in iron ore prices in the next year, which pushed them to raise factory gate price one after another," Qi said.


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