Chinese steel producers' profits surge as capacity slashed
Chinese steel producers saw their profits surge in the first 11 months of 2018 as the sector's overcapacity was slashed amid the supply-side structural reform, according to an industry association.
Data from the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) showed the combined profits of its members' enterprises jumped 63.54 percent year-on-year to 280.2 billion yuan (about 41.5 billion U.S. dollars) in the first 11 months of 2018.
Their debt ratio declined to 65.74 percent by the end of November, down 3.39 percentage points from a year earlier, with half of the enterprises seeing a debt ratio of below 60 percent.
The improvement in corporate profitability came after the country fulfilled its goal of reducing the steel industry's capacity by 100-150 million tonnes from 2016 to 2020 ahead of schedule.
By the end of 2017, steel overcapacity had already been slashed by over 115 million tonnes.
"The market environment has improved markedly, and the bloated capacity has been effectively addressed," said Yu Yong, CISA chairman, at a conference of the association.
However, he cautioned that the foundation for sustained profitability remains shaky as costs have increased while steel prices have started to retreat due to such factors as lower demand and growing output.