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China's crude steel output up 8.9 pct in 2011

(Xinhua)

12:46, January 23, 2012

BEIJING, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- China's crude steel output increased 8.9 percent year-on-year to 683.27 million tonnes last year, 0.4 percentage points slower than the growth rate of 2010, according to the latest data provided by the country's top economic planner.

Last year's steel output helped China secure its title as the world's largest steel producer.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement on its website that the 2011 rolled steel production growth also slowed by 2.4 percentage points to 881.31 million tonnes, up 12.3 percent year-on-year.

The NDRC quoted customs data as saying China's imports of iron ore rose 10.9 percent year-on-year to 686.06 million tonnes last year, while exports of steel products amounted to 48.88 million tonnes, up 14.9 percent year-on-year.

Steel prices continued to decline in December 2011, with the steel price composite index falling to 120.95 points, down 1.44 points from November. The index wavered between 130.74 points and 136.04 points in the first three quarters of last year, according to the NDRC.

The NDRC's latest data showed the steel industry posted a combined profit of 295.2 billion yuan (46.75 billion U.S. dollars) in the first 11 months of 2011, up 29.9 percent year-on-year.

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