China’s Steel Production Rises 3.1% in 2012 as Economy Expanded

China, which produces almost half the world’s steel, boosted production by 3.1 percent last year as economic expansion spurred demand for roads and railways.

Steel output increased to 716.5 million metric tons in 2012, the National Bureau of Statistics said today. Production in December climbed 7.7 percent from a year earlier to 57.66 million tons, the bureau said.

It’s the 31st annual increase in steel production and came as the world’s second-largest economy expanded 7.8 percent in 2012, according to statistics bureau data released today. China will spend 650 billion yuan ($105 billion) this year on railway construction, more than the 631 billion spent last year, the official Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday.

“Steel production this year may grow at a similar pace to last year,” Hu Yanping, Beijing-based chief analyst with, said in an e-mailed note today. “The government-led investments in infrastructure will continue playing a big role in steel demand.”

Steel reinforcement-bar futures rose for a second day on expectations the government’s increased investment in railways will stoke demand for steel. Rebar for delivery in May rose 1.4 percent to 4,002 yuan a metric ton on the Shanghai Futures Exchange. The alloy gained 2 percent this week, the sixth weekly gain in the last seven weeks.

— With assistance by Helen Yuan

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