Report: China's steel industry should be optimistic

Updated: 2007-01-03 08:45

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China's steel industry can expect a comparatively optimistic future, according to an analytical report by Xinhua economic analysts.

The report said that strong demand in both domestic and international markets, could see output of crude steel hit 420 million tons in 2006, and reach 462 million tons in 2007, an increase of 10 percent year on year.

The analysis shows that improved steel output technologies, upgraded quality and increased international competitiveness will help China's steelmakers take a record high 95.8 percent of the domestic market share by the end of 2006, up 2.82 percentage points over 2005.

China produced 381.5 million tons of crude steel in the first 11 months of 2006, up 18.4 percent over the same period last year.

According to the report, China is expected to export 40 million tons of steel in 2006, up 95 percent year on year. Steel exports may see a substantive decline in 2007 to 33 million tons.

Imports of steel in 2006 are expected to hit 18.5 million tons, a decline of 7.3 million tons or 28.4 percent, and may slide to 17.6 million tons in 2007.

The report also notes that China has become a net exporter of steel.

Economists suggest overproduction in steel industry should be curbed and high value-added steel products encouraged while consumption of resources reduced.

Xinhua Economic Analysis Reports are regular products by a team of more than 80 economic analysts under Xinhua Economic Information Department. The latest issue of the reports reviewed the country's 10 key indices in the economic and financial sectors and made projections on possible changes in the coming year.

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