Secondary steel makers to cut prices

Government's effort to reduce inflation has yielded more results on Wednesday as secondary steel makers and cement manufacturers have agreed to cut prices. Secondary steel makers like Bhushan Steel and National Steel, which manufacture mainly flat products, announced a price cut of Rs 4,000 per tonne, following the step taken by primary producers.
Steel secretary RS Pandey said the secondary steel producers have assured that they will hold the new reduced price line for the next three months. At the same time, he said, government is examining the request by the steel industry to lower export duty. Besides Bhushan Steel and National Steel, Surya Steel and Maharashtra Seamless have also decided to cut prices among other companies. The reduction would help contain spiralling prices of cold rolled, galvanised steel, tubes and pipes. Pandey said due to government measures, prices of long steel products used in construction industry have come down by 20%, while that of flat products too have declined. The secondary steel makers currently produce about 7 million tonnes of steel in the country.
On Wednesday, the government also succeeded in making cement manufacturers to roll back prices by up to Rs 7.5 per bag of 50 kg in most of the states. "We had discussion with cement industry, which has stated that in the last one year, the price was increased by only 2%. However, to combat and address the issue of inflation, they have agreed in certain states (to cut prices)," commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath said here after meeting with cement manufacturers. He said the cement industry is scattered across the country with different prices in states. In case of certain states, the prices will be reduced between Rs 3 and Rs 7.5 per bag from the level prevailing on April 1, 2008.
At the same time, the cement producers have agreed to hold the price line at least for three months. However, the price cut will not apply to those companies, which are already supplying cement at concessional rates to states like Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, he said.