Jordan’s deputy prime minister calls for steel firms to behave

Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade, Mohammad Halaiqa, has warned steel factories against adopting a unified price for iron used in reinforced concrete.

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By  Eudore Chand Published  December 11, 2003

Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade, Mohammad Halaiqa, has warned steel factories against adopting a unified price for iron used in reinforced concrete for construction purposes describing such a move as a monopoly, which will not be tolerated by the government. Halaiqa explained that the situation in world markets does not justify high increases in prices for the local market. The production cost of iron used in construction differs from one factory to the other, noted the minister stressing that producers should find a solution to the problem shortly. Emphasising that the government does not want to interfere in the trading business to ensure sufficient quantities of steel for the market’s needs at reasonable prices, the minister says the law allows the state to get involved should a real problem arises especially when it concerns strategic materials. Halaiqa urged the factories to reach a consensus that would lead to a reduction in the cost of steel. Steel producers have hit back by claiming that factories are not coordinating prices. They insist that all pricing decisions are governed by supply and demand. They also claim that the recent increase in steel prices was due mainly increases in freight costs, and to price increases in Russia, China, the Ukraine and Southeast Asia.

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