China's half-year crude steel output has dropped for the first time in nearly 20 years, data from the country's top economic planner showed on Thursday.
Crude steel output in the first half of 2015 dipped 1.3 percent year on year to 409.97 million tons, while crude iron output declined 2.3 percent year on year to 356.94 million tons, according to the National Development and Reform Commission data.
Zhang Guangning, president of the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA), said that "China's crude steel output probably reached a peak in 2014," when the country's per capita crude steel output exceeded 600 kg.
Zhang encouraged iron and steel producers to "accelerate industrial transformation and upgrading while promoting innovation as the economy adjusts to a new normal featuring slower but more balanced and sustainable growth."
In the Jan.-June period, 43 steel companies, or nearly half of the CISA member enterprises, posted a total deficit of 18.55 billion yuan in primary businesses, nearly double the losses registered in the same period last year.