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China's major steel mills report rising losses


08:53, November 15, 2012

BEIJING, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Almost half of China's large- and mid-sized steel mills reported losses during the first nine months of 2012, the China Iron and Steel Association said on Wednesday.

Combined losses amounted to 26.73 billion yuan (4.24 billion U.S. dollars), marking a 41.5-fold increase in losses year on year. Last year's losses were 644 million yuan.

The steel companies' sales fell 6.49 percent from one year earlier during the first three quarters, due to a slowing economy and oversupply, said Wang Xiaoqi, vice president of the association.

China's consumption of steel rose 0.65 percent to 510.28 million tonnes during the first nine months, slower than the 10.38-percent increase seen in the same period last year, data showed.

Demand has softened in the world's largest steel-producing nation since the start of the year, as the country scaled back investment in rail construction and property development amid a slowing domestic economy.

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