Steel prices boost industry gains
China’s steel industry improved its profitability in the first seven months, due to rising steel prices, a leading industry official said. Although sales revenues of 373 steel companies fell 11.91 percent to 1.5 trillion yuan ($225 billion) year-onyear during the period, their profits hit 16.3 billion yuan, Zhao Pei, secretary-general of the Chinese Society forMetals, said at a forum. No comparative figure on earnings was given. Zhao added, however, that market demand remained tepid, with steel consumption falling 3.6 percent year-on-year in July.