Major steelmaking companies posted a combined loss of RMB 1.03bn (US$25.7M) in the first three months 2012, marking a quarterly loss for the first time in a decade, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) revealed. Last year, the Chinese steel sector saw a combined profit of RMB 87.53bn ($13.829bn), down 4.51% year on year.

Production of crude steel and steel products stood at 165.92Mt and 222.46Mt in the first quarter, up 3.2% and 6.5% y-o-y, respectively. First-quarter output of pig iron increased 2.5% from a year earlier to 174.22Mt.

According to the NDRC data, China imported 187.62Mt of iron ore in the first quarter, up 6% y-o-y, while exports of steel products rose 15.8% from the previous year to 12.15Mt.

Source: China Metals e-mail