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China: Steep fall of steel output

Source: WSJ

Data for November underscore the severity of the downturn. In November, Chinese crude steel output fell 12.4% from a year earlier, to 35.2 million metric tons. Finished steel was down 11% in November.

Dragged down by this decline as well as drops in other businesses such as chemicals, China's overall industrial production in November rose only 5.4% from a year earlier, compared with an 8.2% gain in October. The latest figure marks the lowest growth rate for a month excluding Chinese New Year since China started keeping such statistics in 1994.

[china steel]

The downturn in demand for metals, which need huge amounts of energy to produce, is being felt throughout the Chinese economy. For instance, electricity output dropped 9.6% in November from a year earlier; in October, the decline from October 2007 was just 4.0%.

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