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Interview

Chinese steel output to grow 3-4%, says Fortescue CEO

Beijing's push for high-speed rail, airports to create demand despite trade war

Fortescue CEO Elizabeth Gaines says the company will continue to develop relationships with customers in Japan and South Korea.

TOKYO -- The head of Australia's Fortescue Metals Group, the world's fourth-largest iron ore supplier, expects Chinese steel production to keep growing despite an economic slowdown as government stimulus stokes demand.

Fortescue sees a "3% to 4% increase in crude steel production in China this year," based on discussion with "customers and other key figures" there, CEO Elizabeth Gaines told Nikkei on Wednesday during a visit to Japan. China, which accounts for half the world's crude steel output, churned out a record 928 million tons last year, up 10% from 2017.

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