Thursday, February 21, 2008

Taiwan to suspend exports of steel products.

Taiwanese authorities said Thursday they will temporarily suspend exports of steel billet and debar amid fears of shortages caused by soaring iron ore prices.

The three-month suspension, effective from March 5, is aimed at stabilising domestic steel product prices, the economic ministry said in a statement.

The ministry would also immediately impose monitoring on exports of scrap steel and H-beam steel, also for three months.

It said surging steel prices are affecting public infrastructure projects and large construction projects.

The suspension comes after Asia's top steelmakers said Monday they had agreed on a 65 percent rise in iron ore prices with Brazil's Vale to record levels, the sharpest gain in three years. The deal was expected to set the benchmark for global prices.

Taiwan imports all of its iron ore.

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