Steel firms deny cartelisation

“We strongly refute the insinuation that Sail is party to any cartelisation. We at Sail decide our own pricing and marketing policy,” a Sail spokesperson said. He said the prices of coking coal have seen a quantum jump during the financial year 2010-11 from a level of $128 per tonne in the beginning of the financial year to $330 per tonne prevailing at present.

“To produce one tonne of crude steel we require one tonne of coking coal. It can be seen that prices of coking coal have jumped by two-and-a-half times,” he said. Echoing similar views, an Essar Steel spokesperson said “Input costs for steel making have gone up steeply over the last six months. While steel companies have absorbed costs as much as possible, they are left with little option but to increase steel prices.”

The ancillary steel producers had accused four leading steel makers — Sail, Tata Steel, JSW and Essar Steel, of indulging into unfair trade practices by forming a cartel on prices of HR Coil and threatened to lodge a complain with the Competition Commission of India.

The four companies together produce about 20 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) HR Coil, a type of steel, which is further processed into finished products like pipes, vessels, containers, tail boards for goods vehicles, shipbuilding etc by the end-manufacturers or ancillary steel makers.

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