First, crude steel production has reached a new record. In 2018, the output of pig iron, crude steel and steel (including duplicate materials) in China was 771 million tons, 928 million tons and 1.106 billion tons, respectively, which increased by 3.0%, 6.6% and 8.5% year on year, respectively. The output of crude steel reached a record high. In 2018, the apparent consumption of crude steel in China was 870 million tons, an increase of 14.8% over the same period of last year, reaching the highest level in history, with the self-sufficiency rate of domestic steel exceeding 98%.
Second, steel exports continued to decline significantly. In 2018, China exported 69.34 million tons of steel, down 8.1% from the same period last year; the export amount was 398.5 billion yuan, up 7.7% from the same period last year; the average export price was 5747 yuan/ton, up 17.2% from the same period last year. In 2018, China imported 13.17 million tons of steel, a decrease of 1.0% compared with the previous year; the import amount was 108.3 billion yuan, an increase of 5.5% compared with the previous year; the average price was 8225 yuan/ton, an increase of 6.5% compared with the previous year. It is expected that steel exports will gradually stabilize in 2019.
Third. Overall high operation of steel prices. Continuing the price trend in the second half of 2017, steel prices in 2018 are generally at a relatively high level, with the steel composite price index averaging 115.8 points, an increase of 7.6% year on year. In the first half of 2018, the steel price index basically stabilized at 110-120 points, and continued to rise since July. By November, the steel price began to fall rapidly. By the end of December, the comprehensive steel price index fell to 107.1 points, down 13% from the year's peak.
Fourth, the economic benefit of the industry has reached the best level in history. Due to the combined effects of supply-side structural adjustment, environmental protection supervision and strong market demand, steel prices were running at a high level in 2018, and imported iron ore prices remained basically stable, with the industry's benefits reaching the best level in history. In 2018, the main business income of China's iron and steel industry was 7.65 trillion yuan, an increase of 13.8% compared with the same period last year, and the profit was 470.4 billion yuan, an increase of 39.3% compared with the same period last year. Among them, the main business income of key large and medium-sized iron and steel enterprises was 4.13 trillion yuan, an increase of 13.8% over the same period of last year, and their profits were 286.3 billion yuan, an increase of 41.1% over the same period of last year, reaching a profit rate of 6.93%. By the end of 2018, the asset-liability ratio of key large and medium-sized iron and steel enterprises was 65.02%, down 2.6 percentage points from the same period last year.
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