(Yicai Global) Feb. 18 -- Profit in China's steel industry hit an all-time high last year buoyed by supply-side structural reform, environmental supervision and strong market demand combined with high product prices, according to the country's industry ministry.
The operating revenue of China's steel industry rose 13.8 percent to CNY7.7 trillion (USD1.1 trillion) last year, while profit expanded 39.3 percent to CNY470.4 billion (USD69.5 billion), the ministry's raw material department said in a statement. The operating revenue of key large and medium-sized steel firms increased 13.8 percent to CNY4.1 trillion, up 13.8 percent, and their profit grew 41.1 percent to CNY286.3 billion, while the profit margin was 6.9 percent.
As of late last year, the asset-liability ratio of key large and medium-sized steel firms was 65.02 percent, down 2.6 percentage points from a year earlier, the ministry added.
The steel price in China was generally high last year, which was the major contributor to the increase in turnover. The steel composite price index was 115.8 on average, up 7.6 percent, the ministry said, adding the steel price rose between July and November after being largely steady in the first half. It began to drop in November and was down 13 percent as of late December from its peak.
China's crude steel output increased 6.6 percent to a record high of 928 million tons. Domestic consumption rose 14.8 percent to 870 million tons, representing a domestic self-sufficiency rate of more than 98 percent, the ministry noted.