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China's top steel making province reports robust profit rise

North China's Hebei province, home to a quarter of China's steel manufacturing, reported a robust profit growth in the first half this year after a drastic price plunge last year, according to the provincial metallurgical industry association.

Steel makers in the province made 15 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) in profits in the first six months, up 181 percent year on year. The profit margin stood at 3.02 percent, the association said Saturday.

Sixty-three of 78 steel makers surveyed in the province were profitable during the sameperiod, an increase of 15 percent year on year, it said.

A restorative rebound after the price plunge contributed to the remarkable growth this year,said Song Jijun, deputy head of the association.

The price of a ton of steel was cheaper than that of a ton of purified water in the latter half oflast year due to serious

overcapacity and sluggish demand amid a slowing economy.

The province, home to seven of China's top 10 most polluted cities, plans to cut a combined160 million tons of steel,

cement and coal production, and another 36 million weight cases ofglass by 2017, compared with 2013 levels.


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