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China crude steel production continues to decline: NDRC

China crude steel production continues to decline: NDRC

BEIJING: China’s crude steel output continued to decline after recording its first half-year drop in two decades, the latest data from the country’s top economic planner showed.
Crude steel production dipped 1.8 percent year on year to 476 million tons in the first seven months of 2015, compared with a 2.7 percent increase in the same period of last year, according to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
In the first six months, output fell 1.3 percent year on year, the first half-year drop in nearly 20 years, earlier figures showed.
China’s once sizzling steel industry has cooled down as the economy shifts gear from double-digit growth to 7 percent expansion in the first half of this year, hurting industry profits and forcing factories to close.
In the first half, medium- and large-sized steel producers suffered 21.7 billion yuan ($3.4 billion) of losses in their main businesses, losing 16.8 billion yuan more than the same period of last year, according to data from the China Iron and Steel Association.
Steel prices remained weak, with the domestic steel price index slipping 4.68 points from June to 63.45 in July, down 28.71 points from a year earlier, according to the NDRC.