Ezz celebrates New Year with 8.7 per cent hike in steel price

Bassem Abo Alabass, Sunday 2 Jan 2011

Above inflation price rise will cover company's losses

Steel 1
Billet world price attained $620 per ton in December. (Photo: Reuters)

Ezz Steel will increase rebars wholesale prices by LE350 ($60.2) per ton, up 8.7 per cent, more than the increase in world prices of input materials.

The rise will be applied on January sales.

Ezz Steel raised its benchmark price to cover its losses during the last period, prime construction and real estate analyst Rehab Taha told Ahram Online. 

During the last months, the imported steel price was lower than the domestic prices which led Ezz to reduce the prices to compete in the market, added Rehab.

The billet world price attained $620 per ton in December against $580 in November (a rise of 6.89 per cent). The imported scrap also soared 22.3 per cent to $460 per ton in December.

Bad weather all over the world affected the global trading activities in different ports which pushed up the prices, explains Ezz Steel's sales manager, Samir El-Noamini..

The wholesale price will reach LE4350 ($749.3) per ton while the average selling price to consumer will be LE4510 ($776.9), El-Noamani told Ahram Online.

The government's bold infrastructure plan is expected to drive up local demand for steel.

Ezz Steel, which controls almost 40 per cent of the market, saw its net sales for the first nine months of 2010 reach LE11.6 billion, 23 per cent higher than in the same period for 2009.

Ezz (along with the National Company for Iron and steel) is relatively hedged against world prices, as its production of billets attained almost 2 million tons in September 2010.

Ezz's third quarter results show a rise of 730 per cent compared to same period last year.

Antithetically, Beshay and Al Garhy are more vulnerable to international markets.

They announced their prices which exceeded Ezz by LE100 ($17.2) to record LE4450 ($766.5) per ton against LE4050 in the last month.

The remaining major factories of steel in Egypt are expected to follow the trend.

Last week, four companies were granted licenses to increase local production of steel and billets in the face of growing demand by the construction sector. The companies are Port Said National Company for Steel, IIC for Steel Plants Management, Al-Marakbi and Al-Wataniya.

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