China’s steel industry swung back to report profits in the first quarter 2013 after recording losses in the same period last year.

Large and medium steel companies saw their situation improve slightly with sales revenues adding 0.94% year on year to RMB 875.85bbn (US$140.87bn), according to data released by the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA).

The combined profit of CISA member companies rebounded to RMB 2.49bn ($400.5M) in the January-March period, with a profit margin of 0.28%, compared with RMB -1.03bn in losses last year ($-165.6M). However, 34.9% of CISA member companies still reported losses in the first quarter.

In March alone, 45.3% of steel companies were in the red, suggesting that the sector remained weak due to fierce competition amid industrial overcapacity, said Zhu Jimin, executive vice president of the CISA.

Source: China Metals e-mail