Baoshan Iron & Steel Co (Baoshan Steel), China's largest publicly traded steelmaker, may report its lowest profit in the past five quarters as demand slows and high prices of raw materials erode margins.

Bloomberg reports Baoshan Steel may have a profit of between RMB800M ($118M) RMB1.6bn ($234.9M) in the three months ending September 30, according to figures from the company's projected nine-month profit

That would be its lowest profit since the quarter ended June 2009.

Steel prices in China fell as much as 17% from April as the government introduced measures to curb property speculation.

Slowing demand led about 40% of steelmakers in the country to idle plants or put them on maintenance, the China Iron and Steel Association said Aug 3.

The company faces a ‘double squeeze’ as demand from makers of automobiles, appliances and machinery slows, and iron ore prices stay high, Baoshan Steel said in the statement.

The company plans annual maintenance for major production lines, it said, without giving details.