China's 77 major steel companies reported an average profit margin of 0.47 percent in October, with monthly earnings of only 1.375 billion yuan (216 million dollars). [Photo/CNS]
China saw its steel stockpiles increase dramatically between January and September this year amid weak demand.
Luo Bing, CISA's vice director, said that the low profits of China's major steel enterprises are due to surging imported iron ore prices.
China's import prices of iron ore reached 166.66 U.S. dollars on a CIF (cost, insurance and freight) basis in the first ten months of this year, up 34.33 percent over the same period last year.
As a result, China's 77 major steelmakers paid an additional $23.762 billion for iron ore imports between January and October, compared with the same period last year. The figure is almost twice the enterprises' total profits for the period.
China's business press carried the story above on Monday.