JSW Steel, the country’s third largest steel maker, on Monday said it has raised prices of products by 3-5 per cent across all categories due to an increase in raw material rates and pick-up in demand.

“We have raised product prices across all categories by 3-5 per cent starting this month,” JSW Steel Director, Sales and Marketing, Jayant Acharya told reporters on the sidelines of a conference here.

“Prices of raw materials like iron ore and coal have seen a pick-up and demand (for steel) is coming back. Overall steel demand in India should grow by more than 9 per cent because there is a pick-up in construction, auto and housing sector,” he added.

Mr. Acharya said there was a possibility that steel prices may be hiked again within the next six months when companies enter into long term agreements with suppliers in April.

Coal prices have jumped 20 per cent this year over the last fiscal, while iron ore prices are 20-30 per cent higher, JSW Group’s Chief Financial Officer Seshagiri Rao said.

He said coking coal prices were likely to see a 10 per cent increase in 2010, while iron ore prices could rise by 15 per cent. “Demand recovery is happening globally. Prices won’t come down,” Mr. Rao said.

He said flat products, used in cars and white goods, had shown strong demand in 2009, while demand for long products grew by 30 per cent in December.

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