BEIJING — The combined profits of Chinese steel makers surged in the first half of 2018 on strong demand, industry association data showed on July 25.
In the first half, profits of about 380 steel makers stood at 139.27 billion yuan (about $20.5 billion), up 151.15 percent year-on-year, according to the China Iron and Steel Industry Association (CISA).
Their total sales rose 15.33 percent to 1.97 trillion yuan in the same period, CISA said.
The sound performance came amid strong demand for steel on the back of steady economic growth.
With strong profits, the steel sector saw a decline in the ratio of liabilities to assets, which was down 3.97 percentage points year-on-year to 67.3 percent at the end of June.
“In the first half, the iron and steel sector witnessed stable momentum that had not been seen in years,” said Yu Yong, head of CISA.
“However, uncertainties will rise in the latter half, including international trade friction, production suspensions during the winter heating period and price changes in fuels.
“Meanwhile, the steel market will be weighed on if crude steel production is held steady near the historic high registered in June.”
China’s GDP expanded 6.8 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2018, above the annual target of around 6.5 percent and within the range of 6.7 to 6.9 percent for 12 consecutive quarters.