A worker tests the temperature of molten steel at a steel plant in Dalian, Liaoning province. (Photo: China Daily)
The economic benefits of China's steel industry hit a record high in 2018 as the industry continues to press ahead with supply-side structural reforms, with the industrial structure constantly optimizing and the market improving, the website for China Central Television reported on Monday.
The main business income for the steel industry reached 7.65 trillion yuan in 2018, a yearly increase of 13.8 percent, with profits surging 39.3 percent year-on-year to 470.4 billion yuan.
Large and medium-sized steelmakers earned 4.13 trillion yuan in revenue last year, a rise of 13.8 percent year-on-year, and profits reached 286.3 billion yuan, surging 41.1 percent with a profit margin of 6.93 percent.
By the end of 2018, the asset-liability ratio for large and medium-sized steelmakers was 65.02 percent, dropping 2 percentage points from a year earlier.
Last year, the output grew 3 percent to 771 million tons for pig iron, 6.6 percent to 928 million tons for crude steel, and 8.5 percent to 1.11 billion tons for steel.
The apparent consumption of crude steel reached a historic high of 870 million tons in 2018, an increase of 14.8 percent over the previous year, with 98 percent of crude steel made domestically.
Steel exports posted a yearly decline of 8.1 percent to 69.34 million tons, a remarkable decrease in 2018. But the steel export value reached 398.5 billion yuan, up 7.7 percent year-on-year, and the average export price was 5,747 yuan per ton, a 17.2 percent climb.
Steel imports declined 1 percent from a year earlier to 13.17 million tons in 2018, with the import value at 108.3 billion yuan, up 5.5 percent, and the average import price at 8,225 yuan per ton, a rise of 6.5 percent.
Steel prices remained at a high level in 2018. The average for the composite steel price index was 115.8 last year, up 7.6 percent year-on-year.
The steel export trend is expected to stabilize in 2019, said the website for CCTV, citing the department of raw materials within the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.