BEIJING, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) -- An industrial official has warned that the Chinese steel industry will be a big cause for concern in the fourth quarter due to shrinking demand and heavy losses.
The fears were outlined by Huang Libin, an official from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), in an interview with China National Radio.
"The steel sector's performance has been bad since the beginning of the year," Huang said, "Their revenues are falling and demand remains weak."
For the entire industry, the steel sector is now operating at a loss and struggling with problems of oversupply and a broader economic slowdown, he said.
MIIT data showed 45 percent of the country's steel companies were suffering losses in the first nine months of 2012.
Figures from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)revealed that 80 major steel firms reported a combined loss of 5.53 billion yuan (877.78 million U.S. dollars) in the January-September period.
Angang Steel Co. Ltd. and five other steel companies were listed among the top 10 A-share companies in terms of losses in the first three quarters, according to the NDRC.
China's crude steel output rose 1.7 percent year-on-year from January to September to reach 542.34 million tonnes, retreating 9 percentage points from the same period last year, NDRC data showed.