JSW to cut steel prices by October-end

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Mumbai, Oct 14 (UNI) JSW Steel expects to cut product prices by October-end in line with a fall in metal prices globally and will delay project expansion at its mill in south India due to weak demand.

Talking to mediapersons ASSOCHAM president and JSW Managing Director Sajjan Jindal said ''There is a strong possibility to cut steel prices this month. The firm had cut flat product prices by Rs 2,000 per tonne in September. Commodity prices have corrected sharply from their peak, with steel losing about 40 per cent, which is likely to hit JSW's topline in the coming quarters.'' JSW posted a 12 per cent fall in operating profit margin during April-June due to a weakening rupee and a surge in the prices of raw material such as iron ore and coking coal, Mr Jindal said.

Mr Jindal further said that company is expected to remain stable as raw material prices have fallen but a further depreciation in the rupee and higher interest costs continue to put pressure on margins.

The rupee fell 6.8 per cent in the April-June quarter and extended its fall by another 8.4 per cent in July-September.

Given the current market scenario, JSW has delayed commissioning its 6.8-billion-tonne blast furnace in Karnataka by two months, Mr Jindal said.

''We were planning to commission it in October. But we are delaying it by a couple of months to co-ordinate with the market situation,'' he added.

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