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Rongsheng: Ship-plate prices will rise this year

Rongsheng: Ship-plate prices will rise this year

Shanghai: Prices of ship-plate steel in China may rise by a "few hundred yuan'' a metric ton after doubling to more than 8,000 yuan ($1,168) in the past four years, Bloomberg has quoted Chen Qiang, chairman and president of Jiangsu Rongsheng Heavy Industry Group as saying. Steel accounts for at least 30% of costs at the yard, which buys the plates from Baoshan Iron & Steel, Jiangsu Shagang Group and Shougang Corp.

Rongsheng Heavy Industry needs 2.4m metric tons of ship plates by 2010 to fulfil orderbook boasts more than 100 ships, including iron ore carriers, tankers, drilling and container ships, Chen said.

"For steelmakers, ship plates are one of the most profitable sectors,'' said Luo Wei, a Shanghai-based analyst with China International Capital Corp. Plates account for a quarter of the profit at Baoshan, China's largest mill, he said.

In South Korea, the world's largest shipbuilding nation, the price of steel used for ship hulls jumped 74 percent this year. Cosco Corp. Singapore the shipbuilding and repair unit of China's biggest marine line, also expects higher prices.

"Ship-plate prices may rise a little because of higher raw-material and labor costs in China,'' Cosco Corp. President Ji Haisheng told the newswire in a phone interview.  [06/08/08]