Crude steel output in China amounted to 660.13Mt in the first 11 months of 2012, up 2.9% from a year earlier. Output for the full year 2012 is expected to reach 720Mt, according to Wang Qinghai, head of the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA).

While output increased 2.9% year on year the growth rate slowed by 6.9% from a year earlier, a record low. Pressured by the slowdown in the domestic and global economies, demand for steel products fell, which resulted in a sharp fall in steel prices. The country’s iron and steel industry faced severe predicament last year, said Wang, noting that fixed-asset investment in the domestic steel sector rose 6.5% from a year earlier to RMB 594.6bn (US$93.3bn) in the first 11 months of 2012.

China’s steelmakers continued slowing production in late December, falling 0.53% in the final week of the year, as they waited for demand to pick up in the spring, according to the latest data released by CISA.

Source: China Metals e-mail