February 24, 2009

China’s steel industry in sharp decline

Production capacity has outstripped demand in China's steel-making industry, a trade association executive said.

Executive Deputy Director Luo Bingsheng of the China Iron and Steel Association said the market for Chinese steel hadn't shown signs of recovery, Xinhua reported Tuesday.

The financial crisis and the domestic economic slowdown resulted in contraction in both overseas and domestic markets, Luo said Monday.

China is both the world's largest steel producer and the largest consumer, Xinhua said.

The General Administration of Customs said China exported 1.91 million metric tons of rolled steel in January, a decline of 2.22 million metric tons compared with January 2008, a 53.8 percent decline.

The World Steel Association has predicted worldwide demand for steel would drop 10 percent in 2009. The association said Japanese steel imports would drop 31.6 percent in the first quarter, compared to the first quarter of 2008.