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China Crude Steel Output Paces GDP Growth to Set Record

Crude steel output in China, the world’s biggest producer of the material, rose by 7.5 percent in 2013 to a record as it tracked the country’s economic expansion.

Output in December advanced for the first time in four months, by 6.5 percent to 62.35 million metric tons, the National Bureau of Statistics in Beijing said today. Production for the whole year was 779.04 million tons, according to the bureau. The economy grew 7.7 percent in 2013.

Crude steel manufacturing rose even as the government tried to cut back overcapacity and pollution by shutting old furnaces. The nation accounts for about half of all output, according to the World Steel Association. Sustained Chinese steel production could help bolster iron ore prices, supporting miners BHP Billiton Ltd, Rio Tinto Plc and Vale SA.

China’s economy will be stable in 2014, Ma Jiantang, head of the statistics bureau, said at a press briefing today. The government’s policies and planning this year will focus on maintaining economic expansion in a “reasonable range,” Premier Li Keqiang told economists and business leaders last week, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Jan. 17.

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