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Import threat: Nalco cuts rates by up to Rs 5k/tonne

May 26, 2009 17:09 IST

Aluminium producer Nalco has cut prices of its products by up to Rs 5,000 a tonne, a step aimed to discourage imports from China which have got a boost after the domestic currency turned stronger against the US dollar.

"We have cut prices of ingots and sow by Rs 5,000 a tonne and other products like wire rods, billets by Rs 4,000 per tonne to discourage imports from countries like China and Bahrain," Nalco director finance B L Bagra told PTI.

The step became imminent in view of threat of the largest exporters of the metal -- China and the Gulf countries -- pushing their products in the Indian market, he said.

"In order to achieve parity with the prices of the imported metal products we had to cut our prices," he added.

Aluminium ingots and sow will now cost about Rs 70,000 a tonne in the local market and wire rods and billets would be priced at around Rs 78,000-79,000 a tonne.

Asked if the price cut is a reflection of the gloomy global outlook at the London Metal Exchange, which has seen aluminium prices falling by about 70 per cent in the last six months, Bagra said, "LME is the basis of pricing of any metal across the globe. But it had no major say in our price cut."

After breaching the 52-mark against the dollar in intra-day during trade the last quarter the Indian rupee has appreciated to trade at 47 level to a dollar.

While 80 per cent of the company's products were sold through the retail route, 20 per cent were through wholesale. Moreover, Bagra said the price correction should not be taken as a sign of a slump in domestic demand as the offtakes are expected to surge in the current fiscal, even though it is stable at present after an improvement in the last quarter.

"The demand is stable at present. There was an improvement in demand in the previous quarter. Offtakes are expected to improve during this fiscal," he added.

The cable industry, the revival in sectors like housing, construction and automobiles will push for an improved demand for the metal in the domestic market this fiscal, he added.

According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, India's aluminium production is expected to grow by 10.7 per cent in the financial year 2009-10.

"Aluminium production is expected to grow by 10.7 per cent in FY 2010 on the back of the completion of various projects and healthy demand from the electrical power equipment and construction sectors," a CMIE report said.

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