Bethlehem Steel Corp., the nation's second largest steel maker, announced today that it would raise its prices an average of 2 percent effective July 1.
The company and the Council of Wage and Price Stability said the increase appears to comply with the president's price guidelines.
Last week, U.S. Steel, the nation's biggest producer, raised its prices an average of 3.5 percent and had to shift from controlling its prices to controlling its profits because the price increases violated the president's guidelines.
Although the overall increase at Bethlehem is smaller than U.S. Steel's, on a product-for-product basis Bethlehem's increase appears to be the same or slightly higher than those announced by U.S. Steel.
For example, on hot-rolled sheet and strip steel-key ingredients in many consumer products - U.S. Steel announced a price increase of $13 a ton to $345, and Bethlehem's increase was $18 a ton to $350.
Bethlehem's product line is concentrated more heavily in structural steels than is U.S. Steel's, and neither producer raised prices of structural steels.
As a result, the increases raised U.S. Steel's overall prices - which the president's program seeks to control - more than they did Bethlehem's. Late last week, Inland Steel, the fifth biggest producer, announced price increases almost identical to the ones announced by Bethlehem.