State-owned RINL said it has increased prices of steel products by around 500 per tonne in January 2013. "
The move was led by expectations of an improvement in the overall steel market with signs of increased demand and a firming up of domestic and global steel prices," a company official said.
One of the largest private steel companies, JSW Steel also said it will raise prices by about 2%, with effect from Thursday, due to rising input costs.
"We haven't increased steel prices in last three months whereas input costs and steel prices in international market have gone up," a JSW Steel spokesperson said.Essar Steel, which makes flat steel products like hot rolled (HR) coils, which are used in consumer durables and automobiles, is also reported to have resorted to a 3-4% price hike in January. "
The decision led mainly by cost push factors. Seasonal pick up in demand during the Jan-March quarter is likely to support the price increase," a company source said.
On likely price hike, CS Verma, chairman of SAIL, the country's largest steel player, said: "For steel companies raw material prices have been going up in the past two months. Global iron prices have touched $145 per tonne. With input prices firming up, steel prices are also expected to go up."
The company may withdraw some of the discounts that were earlier being offered to customers, a source said.
Analysts tracking the sector said the price hike was largely anticipated, due to a sharp rise in international prices of iron ore, a key steelmaking input.