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'Steel price hits the bottom; demand to rise in '09'

Source: PTI
December 10, 2008 18:17 IST
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Tata Group holding company Tata Sons said on Wednesday it anticipates steel demand picking up only next year and does not expect the price of the commodity to fall further, amid steel makers resorting to production cuts.

"(The) steel outlook is depressing for the next 3-6 months. I see steel demand picking up only in 2009.

Prices are already low, I do not think they can go down further because raw material prices are still high," Tata Sons Director J J Irani told PTI on the sidelines of a conference in New Delhi.

He said that steel manufacturers worldwide have resorted to production cuts and that has helped tame the falling demand and halt price decline.

Demand for steel and its prices have declined of late due to the global economic downturn.

Globally, steel prices have almost halved from the peak of $1,200 per tonne earlier this year.

"India cannot be decoupled (from) the international market. Steel prices in the domestic market are down as compared to the rates prevailing earlier this year," he said.

Regarding cost-cutting measures of firms, Irani said that if business houses witness fall in profits, under pressure they have to adopt measures to remain efficient.

"Every 10 years, people (corporates) have to go through a slimming exercise... not only in manpower but wherever they have put their money," he said.

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