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China's crude steel output down 1.7% in March

Updated: Apr 18,2020 04:10 PM    Xinhua

BEIJING — China produced 78.98 million metric tons of crude steel in March, down 1.7 percent year-on-year, as mills cut back production due to relatively high stockpiles and weak profits amid the novel coronavirus epidemic, according to government data.

China, the world's top steel-maker, produced 234.45 million tons of crude steel during the first quarter, up 1.2 percent from a year ago, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

The country's output of rolled steel fell 0.1 percent to 98.88 million tons in March. Its production in the first quarter reached 267.42 million tons, down 1.6 percent year-on-year.

The epidemic has thrown an impact on the steel sector, driving up inventories and dampening demand at home and abroad.

Inventories of key steel companies hit 17.95 million tons in early April, up 88.32 percent from the start of the year, data from the China Iron and Steel Association showed.

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