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Driven by the market dynamics, steel prices in the country have risen but are still competitive as compared to prices of the metal in the international markets, an official said on Friday. 

Steelmakers in the country have reportedly raised prices of benchmark hot-rolled coil by up to 3,500 a tonne on the back of rising input costs due to soaring coal prices. "Steel prices follow global trends and now stay at a higher level. If compared to international markets, our prices are still low. It is a deregulated sector and market dynamics has an influence on it," Steel Ministry additional secretary Rasika Chaube, said while addressing a programme organised by CII. 

Tata Steel in its guidance indicated that prices of the metal in India will be higher by about 2,500 per tonne in the current quarter as compared to last year and in Europe, it will be about 25 to 30 pounds per tonne higher. 

With increasing coal prices and high cost of raw material, it is difficult to sell steel at current prices, a company official said. However, some analysts said steel prices may see corrections in the near term with easing iron-ore prices.

Chaube said the Centre envisioned the transformation of eastern India as a potential integrated steel hub through Mission Purvoday. "East is foreseen to contribute 80-90 million tonne in the estimated 250 million tonne production by 2030," Chaube said. 

The government intends to eliminate bottlenecks in the process of expediting investments through the creation of land banks, ensuring availability of iron ores at competitive prices and providing statutory clearances on time, the official said. Mission Purvoday is also intended towards establishment of ancillary downstream clusters and value-added products. 

"The government has identified 11 zones along with nine clusters for the purpose and is all set to launch its pilot steel cluster in Kalinganagar, Odisha," Chaube said. She said the government is also focusing on using inland waterways in a big way to decongest ports of eastern India. 

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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