China’s crude steel output rises 6 pct in Oct.

China’s crude steel output rose 6 percent in October from the same period a year earlier, the country’s top economic planning agency said Saturday.

During the first ten months of 2012, China produced 602.23 million tonnes of crude steel, up 2.1 percent year on year, according to a statement on the website of the National Development and Reform Commission.

The country’s steel exports climbed 11.8 percent from one year earlier to 45.78 million tonnes during the January-October period, while imports fell 12.2 percent year on year to 11.55 million tonnes, the statement said.

The country’s steel industry booked profits of 91 billion yuan (14.44 billion U.S. dollars) in the first three quarters, tumbling 54.3 percent year on year.

A key reason behind the sharp profit drop is China’s slowing economic growth, which fell for the seventh consecutive quarter to 7.4 percent in July-September period.

The steel industry has also been struggling with overcapacity in recent years, a problem that has further squeezed the industry’s profit margins, analysts said.

Xinhua