Soaring raw material prices—mainly coking coal—in international markets have now forced domestic steelmakers to increase prices of their products between Rs300-Rs500/tonne
Indian steel majors have increased their product prices marginally to offset soaring prices of raw materials-coking coal and iron ore-amid sluggish demand.
Steel Authority of India (SAIL), JSW Steel Limited and Essar Steel have increased prices between Rs300-Rs500/tonne, citing increasing raw material prices in international markets.
"SAIL has increased prices of long products by around Rs500 per tonne and flat products by Rs300, effective 3rd March. This is an unexpected hike," a SAIL dealer from the western region told Moneylife.
JSW Steel and Essar Steel officials have also confirmed the price hike.
Long products are used in the construction and infrastructure sector, while flat products are largely consumed by the auto and consumer durables sector.
Soaring raw material prices-mainly coking coal-in international markets have been putting pressure on domestic steelmakers to increase prices of their products, when the demand is not robust.
Domestic steelmakers largely depend on imports of coking coal. Taking cues from trends in coking coal prices, iron-ore prices are also zooming up.
Currently, spot coking coal prices in the international market have crossed $330 per tonne compared to $210 per tonne in December as floods in Queensland, Australia, which is one of the largest suppliers of the commodity, disrupted mining and shipments of coking coal.
Around 70% of India's coking coal demand is met by imports-and out of that, around 80% of coking coal is imported from Australia.
"Prices have been increased by Rs500/tonne as input costs are soaring due to rising coking coal and iron ore prices in the spot market. The only issue is that the price increase should have been higher, but keeping in mind that the closure of the financial year is fast approaching, people are working on regulated inventories and buying is also getting postponed, or delayed, so we have done a marginal increase(in prices)," Sharad Mahendra, vice president, sales and marketing, JSW Steel Limited, told Moneylife.
"Demand for the metal has not been so encouraging over the past few weeks," added the SAIL dealer.
Demand for long products in the domestic market has softened a bit due to lack of big order flows from the government in the infrastructure space. Also, private companies are finding it difficult to execute orders due to high cost of borrowings and hurdles in land acquisitions.
Most infrastructure companies like Larsen & Toubro, Hindustan Construction Company and Siemens have already indicated missing their order book guidance for the current fiscal year, due to persistent delay in order flows from the government.
Steel demand in China-the world's largest steel producer and consumer-has slowed down. According to the China Ministry of Commerce, steel product prices have slipped a bit, and this trend will continue, given the increasing supply and the expansion of inventory due to slim downstream purchasing and bleak demand.
Chinese steel prices dipped in the last week of February by 0.6% from the previous week with 3mm HRC, 10mm common medium plate and 6.5mm high speed wire rod seeing a fall of 1.5%, 1.2% and 1% respectively.
China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) has said that in the first twenty days of February, the inventory of domestic major steelmakers has gone up to 9.46 million tonnes (MT), visibly higher than that of January end at 7.57MT.
According to a latest report published by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural & Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES), production and sales of thermal and metallurgical coal will be affected because Queensland produces large quantities of both types of coal.
Hasan Ali is alleged to have stashed over $8 billion in Swiss banks besides having links to international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. Mr Khan is also facing charges of tax evasion of over Rs40,000 crore
Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) was today rapped by a Mumbai court for not doing its homework and making a proper case against Pune-based stud farm owner Hasan Ali Khan for his custody on money laundering charges, reports PTI.
"You have not been able to make any case and you want me to hear you. If you want to do some homework, you can take time," principal sessions court judge ML Tahaliyani sternly told the ED while adjourning the hearing.
53-year old Mr Khan, a real estate consultant and owner of race horses, was arrested on Monday midnight under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act after prolonged searches at his premises in Pune and here and sustained interrogation.
He is alleged to have stashed over $8 billion in Swiss banks besides having links to international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. Mr Khan is also facing charges of tax evasion of over Rs40,000 crore.
Mr Khan has claimed that he has not done anything wrong and dismissed reports of having stashed huge amounts in Swiss banks.
Taking note of reports of Mr Khan's alleged links with arms dealers and people associated with terror activities, the Supreme Court had yesterday asked the Centre to consider whether he could be booked under the anti-terror law.
The bench had suggested invoking of anti-terror laws like Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and other stringent provisions of the Indian Penal Code owing to Mr Khan's alleged links with various arms dealers including Adnan Khashoggi and terror-related activities, impinging national security.
Despite ED having moved the remand application yesterday, it was not heard by the Mumbai court which raised the issue of jurisdiction before going ahead with the proceedings.
Judge Tahaliyani while raising the question of jurisdiction had said that the matter should have been first brought before a magistrate.
Public prosecutor N Punde had contended that under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, a special court was empowered to conduct the proceedings and hence he had the jurisdiction.
Defence counsel IP Bagadia too concurred with the view, but the principal judge had adjourned the hearing till today to decide the question.
As of 31 January 2011, Air India owed Rs720 crore to AAI, followed by Kingfisher Airlines Rs257.62 crore and Jet Airways Rs38.49 crore
New Delhi: Airlines operating in the country owe Rs1,122 crore to Airports Authority of India (AAI), the Lok Sabha was informed today.
The dues of AAI against Air India as on 31 January 2011 were Rs720 crore, reports PTI quoting minister of civil aviation Vayalar Ravi.
For Kingfisher, the figure was Rs257.62 crore, Go Airlines Rs6.77 crore, Interglobe Aviation (Indigo) Rs13.29 crore, Jet Airways Rs38.49 crore, Jet Lite (India) Rs13.96 crore, SpiceJet Rs16.99 crore and Paramount Airways Rs4.88 crore.
For others small or non-operating airlines the dues stood at Rs50.13 crore.
He said the matter of pending dues is taken up by the AAI with respective airlines from time to time.
The minister said steps have been taken to improve the facilities at the airports which include modernisation of Chennai and Kolkata Airports, development of 35 non-metro airports with the terminal buildings having state-of-the-art passenger facilities, user-friendly amenities, good ambiance and satellite based navigation system.