Activities in China’s steel sector slowed in September after stronger-than-expected performance in the previous months, an industry report showed.
The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for the steel industry came in at 53.7 last month, down from 57.2 in August, according to the report by the Steel Logistics Professional Committee under the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below 50 reflects contraction.
The sub-index measuring production stood at 59.8 percent, down 1.9 percentage points from a month earlier but remaining in expansionary territory for eight consecutive months.
With steel mills in northern China cutting production during the winter heating season, production activities will continue to slow, the report said.
Meanwhile, steel prices fell to 4,150 yuan (about 625 U.S. dollars) per tonne from the 4,440 yuan last month, according to trading platform Xiben New Line.
China’s steel industry has long been plagued by overcapacity. The government aims to slash steel production capacity by around 50 million tonnes this year.
By the end of July, 85 percent of the target for excess steel capacity has been met through phasing out substandard steel bars and zombie companies.