China Steel Output Rises, Adding to Concern Over Global Glut
China’s steel output climbed in August from a month earlier, shrugging off government-ordered shutdowns and increasing concerns that excess production in the world’s biggest supplier is swelling a global glut.
Output of crude steel rose 1.7 percent to 66.94 million metric tons, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics on Sunday. While production was up from July, it fell 3.5 percent from a year earlier and dropped 2 percent to 543.02 million tons in the first eight months, the bureau said. The country supplies more than half of the world’s steel.
China’s economic growth remains stuck below the government’s target of about 7 percent this year, curbing demand. Bloomberg’s monthly gross domestic product tracker was at 6.64 percent last month, barely changed from July. Industrial output missed economists’ forecasts Sunday, while investment in the first eight months increased at the slowest pace since 2000.
“We still think there may be some slight improvement in domestic demand into the end of the year but that requires infrastructure activity to lift,” Lachlan Shaw, analyst at UBS Group AG, said by phone. “There is still a lot of steel being made because it is low cost, and there is the possibility for exports to grow even further.”
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- The stock price of China's largest steelmaker, Hebei Iron & Steel, rose 4.3 percent on the news, and the second-biggest, Baoshan Iron & Steel, rose by 5.3 percent. The stock prices of China's coal producers also rose on the news of the layoffs