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Author: 24 Jan 2013 Last updated at 06:02:57 GMT

China's Steel demand expected to rise by 3.1% in 2013: CISA

BEIJING (Scrap Monster): China's steel demand is expected to rise by 3.1% in 2013, 0.6 percentage points higher than last year as the economy recovers, said China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) in its regular market report.

But the CISA said that while demand was set to improve this year, oversupply problems would continue to limit price increases and eat into steel firm earnings.

The recent surge in imported iron ore prices had put steel firms under heavy pressure, with the rise in costs "far exceeding" any increase in domestic steel product prices, they added.

Chinese crude steel output reached a record 716.5 million metric tonne in 2012, but the growth rate of 3.1% was 5.8 percentage points slower than in the previous year as the slowing economy eroded demand from major downstream sectors such as real estate and automobiles.

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