Anshan is diversifying its markets as domestic demand slows and raw-material costs remain high.

China’s major steelmakers incurred combined losses of 2.8bn yuan ($445M) in the first two months of this year, the official Xinhua News Agency reports, citing the China Iron and Steel Association. Angang, the biggest Hong Kong-traded steelmaker, this week posted a second-half loss of 1.93bn yuan.

Angang is in talks with Anshan Steel about shortening the pricing period for iron ore amid expectations the spot rates may fall 10% to 20% due to slowing demand, said Chen Ming, vice chairman of listed unit Angang Steel Co. The unit bought the raw material from its parent at a 5% discount to the average spot price in the previous six-month period, paying more than rivals at a time of declining ore prices. Angang is seeking to peg the rates to a monthly or quarterly basis, Chen said