15 Sep 2010 08:38

China's steel product exports to rise 60 pct in 2010 - official

Shanghai. September 15. INTERFAX-CHINA -China's steel product exports are expected to total 40 million tons by the end of 2010, up 60 percent year-on-year, a senior official with China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's (MIIT) said at a Sept. 15 conference in Shanghai.

Luo Tiejun, deputy director of the MIIT's department of raw material industry, said at the 5th China International Steel Forum 2010 that China's steel product exports slumped in July and August, down 19 percent and 38 percent, respectively. According to Luo, the recent cancellation of export tax rebates for certain steel products and a weak demand from the international market are the main factors contributing to the drop, as well as lower steel product prices.

He added the crude steel output is likely to reach between 620 million and 630 million tons in 2010, an increase of 8.62 percent year-on-year.

The domestic steel industry has entered an era of low profit margins, said Luo, and iron ore prices will play the largest role in determining the profitability of domestic steel mills.

The price of iron ore in China's market has increased by an average of $42 per ton in the first eight months of 2010, Luo said.