Oct. 15 -- Baoshan Iron and Steel Co Ltd, the nation's largest listed steelmaker, kept the prices of its main products unchanged for November, the second straight month that the Shanghai-based steel giant sticks to the previous month's prices.
Baosteel's decision was a surprise to the market after Wuhan Iron and Steel raised nearly half of its products prices for November to fend off the industry slump.
The Wuhan steelmaker marked up cold-rolled coil prices by 100 yuan ($15.9) per tonne and raised hot-rolled coil prices by 150 yuan per tonne.
"The flat prices indicate that Baosteel is cautious towards the outlook of the steel market," wrote Liu Yuanrui, an analyst with Changjiang Securities.
The domestic steel market rebounded since mid-September and extended the rise through the National Day holiday, with prices of hot-rolled coil, cold-rolled coil and medium plate jumping by 300 to 400 yuan per tonne. But the rally in demand may lose steam in the coming low season.
Baosteel's decision to keep prices steady also set the benchmark for other domestic steelmakers, who are expected to follow the move or lift their ex-factory prices slightly for November, analysts said.