Ninety-nine large and medium-sized steel plants in China reported ayear-on-year282 percent rise in net profits in the first quarter of this year, according to the China Iron and Steel Association.
Luo Bingsheng, deputy chief of the association, said combined profits of these steel plants jumped to 34.5 billion yuan (4.5 billion U.S. dollars) in the first three months, boosted by the steel price increases.
The composite price index of steel products stood at 109.8 by end-March, 4.42 percent higher than the beginning of this year, he said.
The 99 steel enterprises posted an industrial output value of 390.8 billion yuan, up 37.99 percent, and their sales shot up 39.34 percent to 431.6 billion yuan.
Net income of the nation's major steel plant Angang Steel Co., rose 111.7 percent to 2.39 billion yuan in the first quarter, the company said on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Baoshan Iron and Steel Co., Ltd., China's biggest steel producer, said last week its first quarter net income jumped 156.38 percent to 3.68 billion yuan.
China produced 114.7 million tons of crude steel in January-March period, up 22.34 percentyear on year, according to Luo.
He said China's double-digit economic growth has been fuelling steel consumption in its road and factory construction.
China consumed 102.6 million tons of crude steel in the first quarter of this year, 12.51 percent more than last year's same period.