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China's steel industry at a crossroads as long winter looms

Market caught in perfect storm of COVID-related slowdowns, weak foreign demand

China’s current steel production capacity is 1.2 billion tons a year, with annual consumption hovering around 1 billion tons.

For China's steel industry -- the world's largest -- winter has arrived early and is shaping up to be one of the harshest in years, with a slowing economy and escalation of the property market crisis tanking demand and evaporating profits.

The property sector, which accounts for over one-third of the country's steel consumption, has been squeezed by a liquidity crunch and sliding sales since the end of last year. This comes amid an ever-expanding mortgage boycott by disgruntled homebuyers over stalled construction projects.

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