China's steel industry to face tougher times in 2011: MIIT

21:14, February 16, 2011      

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China's steel companies will come under pressure this year as the government restructures the economy and competition heats up on the global market, said a report released Wednesday by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

China produced 626.65 million tonnes of crude steel last year, up 9.3 percent from 2009, The rate of increase was 4.2 percentage points lower than that in 2009, said the report.

However, the ministry forecast steel production this year would rise by only 5 percent to 660 million tonnes, as the government steered the economy to a more sustainable path in the first year of the country's 12th Five-Year Program.

The industry would face greater pressure from requirements to conserve energy and cut emissions, said the report.

China eliminated 44 million tonnes of outdated iron and steel production capacity last year, it said.

Fierce international competition would hurt steel exports, it warned.

The MIIT also predicted iron ore prices would remain high, driving up the costs of steel companies.

"In 2011, the rapid development stage of China's steel industry is coming to an end," said the MIIT.

The ministry urged China's steel companies to step up energy efficiency and emissions reduction efforts.

The Proposal on Formulating the Twelfth Five-Year Program (2011-2015) on National Economic and Social Development, released in October 2010, said the country's major task in the 2011-2015 period was accelerating the transformation of China's economic development pattern.

This required the country to shift its economic structure to a sustainable path that was energy-efficient and environment-friendly.

Source: Xinhua
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