SAO PAULO, March 31 (Reuters) - Brazilian steelmakers plan to raise domestic prices in April by as much as 15 percent, a move aimed at partially matching a surge in the price of iron ore in global markets, Valor Economico said on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the situation.
A new round of price increases is likely as supply of the metal remains tight and the cost of coal rises globally, Valor said. CSN (CSNA3.SA), Brazil’s second-largest flat steel maker, will push prices higher on Thursday, Valor added.
CSN told Valor that any increases would be triggered by the surge in prices for coal, coke and iron ore.
The move comes as Brazil’s Vale (VALE5.SA), the world’s largest producer of iron ore, and rivals including BHP Billiton will price the metal quarterly from April 1.
Steel companies will charge higher prices for distributors first, the newspaper said, adding that some specialized clients will be told of price increases in the second half of the year.
The decision could fan rises in wholesale and consumer prices in Brazil at a time when the central bank is considering raising borrowing costs, Valor added.
The Brazilian government has threatened to slash levies on imports of some types of steel should domestic producers raise prices. (Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal, editing by Dave Zimmerman)