Maanshan Steel Second-Half Loss Widens on Slowing Demand, Prices

Maanshan Iron & Steel Co., the second-biggest Hong Kong-traded mill, reported a wider second-half loss as slowing economic growth cut demand and prices.

The company’s net loss was 1.97 billion yuan ($317 million) in the six months ended Dec. 31, compared with a loss of 240 million yuan a year earlier. The result was derived by deducting six-month figures from full-year earnings released today in a statement.

China’s steel mills saw aggregate earnings tumble 98 percent to 1.58 billion yuan last year, the China Iron and Steel Association said Jan. 31. The Chinese economy grew 7.4 percent in the third quarter, the slowest pace in three years, sapping steel demand from builders and automakers and reducing profits at mills.

“In 2013, the demand for steel from the international market still will not be robust,”the Anhui province-based Maanshan Steel said in the statement. “The situation the steel industry faces may improve, but the fundamentals of overcapacity won’t be changed.”

The company had a loss of 3.86 billion yuan in 2012, it said in the statement, its worst results since an initial public offering in 1993. Maanshan fell 2.8 percent to close at HK$2.05 in Hong Kong today before the earnings announcement.