(Yicai Global) May 18 -- So far this year, China has cut steel and coal capacity by 31.7 million tons and 68.97 million tons, fulfilling 63.4 and 46 percent of annual reduction targets respectively, said Meng Wei, spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission.
The data on steel overcapacity reduction does not include illegal low-quality steel manufacturing, Meng said at a State Council Information Office press conference today. The government is strengthening inspections to ensure that such production is shut down by June 30.
As China continues to decrease capacity, steelmakers' profitability has increased substantially, Meng said. Members of the China Iron and Steel Industry Association reported CNY23.28 billion (USD3.38 billion) in profit in the first quarter, compared with a CNY8.75 billion loss a year earlier.
Outdated steel production identified in last year's checks has been cut or stopped, and coal mines that needed to be closed or phased out have been shut as required, said Meng.