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China's Push for Cleaner Skies Is Good News for Global Steelmakers

  • Capacity cuts, pollution curbs in China have boosted prices
  • Nippon Steel joins Posco, Hesteel in seeing higher profits
A Nippon Steel Sumitomo Metal plant.

A Nippon Steel Sumitomo Metal plant.

Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg
Updated on

China’s push for better air quality is proving a bonanza for global steelmakers.

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp., Japan’s biggest producer, enjoyed a nine-fold surge in first-half profit as China’s crackdown on pollution and bloated industrial capacity lifted prices to the highest level in more than five years. Posco, the largest Korean mill, said on Thursday it expected to reap higher earnings in the fourth quarter, while Hesteel Co. in China has seen profit more than double in the first nine months.