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China's Steel Industry to Grow Slower
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China's steel industry, which enjoyed robust growth over the past years, is expected to see a slower growth pace in the next few years, Chinese industry analysts predicted.

The analysts here made the forecast based on China's continuous macro control policies which aimed to rein in the country's overheated economy, predicting that China's fixed assets investment would unlikely surpass the 29.8 percent growth rate achieved in the first half of this year in the coming few years.

The possible slowing fixed assets investment means that the country's demand for steel would enter a ""slow-growth" period, and the nation's steel consumption is likely to drop below 10 percent, compared with record 25.7 percent in 2003 and 10.7 percent in 2004, said the analysts.

The pessimistic prospect was made despite the fact that China's crude steel output hit 37.68 million tons in October, up 18 percent from the same month last year, according to the latest data

The country's pig iron output grew 19.2 percent to 36.15 million tons in October, while the steel output reached 41.59 million tons, up 23.4 percent.

At the same time, China's crude steel consumption grew 4.59 percent in October to 33.73 million tons, and the steel consumption increased by 16.99 percent to 38.73 million tons last month.

Latest statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics showed the prices of steel and wire dropped month on month by 4.1 percent and 0.2 percent respectively in October.

The price of hot-rolled steel fell by around 150 yuan per ton, according to Xu Xiangchun, a source with the Lange Steel website.

Besides, the analysts warned that China's booming steel exports would retroact once other countries impose anti-dumping measures against China's steel products.

But analyst Zhou Xizeng said the anti-dumping measures will not affect China's steel export in the long run because Chinese steel products are competitive on the international market in terms of production cost.

(Xinhua News Agency November 18, 2006)

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