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Global steel industry wins reprieve as Chinese exports contract
[SINGAPORE] Steel exports from China fell last month to the lowest level since February, offering some respite to world leaders just days after they expressed concern over a growing glut of the metal.
Shipments from the biggest producer dropped to 9 million metric tons from 10.3 million in July and 9.7 million tons a year earlier, according to China's customs Thursday. Volumes in the first eight months are still the highest ever for the period, gaining 6.3 per cent to 76.35 million tons from last year.
As maker of half the world's steel, China has drawn fire from competitors for exporting its surplus at record levels as domestic growth slows.
The Group of 20 leaders wrapped up their two-day summit in Hangzhou, China earlier this week with a pledge to establish a global forum on steel overcapacity.
Steel shipments from China expanded this year as output has proven to be unexpectedly resilient after the government boosted stimulus to prop up its economy.
The surge has helped lift demand for iron ore, and China's imports of the raw material gained 9.3 per cent in the first eight months to 669.7 million tons.
In August, inbound cargoes were 87.7 million tons from 88.4 million in July and 74.1 million a year ago, customs data showed.