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China's crude steel production accelerates

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BEIJING, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- China's crude steel output rose 8.3 percent year on year to 652.48 million tonnes in the first ten months of 2013, faster than the 2.1-percent increase seen in the same period last year, the country's top economic planner said Thursday.

Output of rolled steel rose 11.6 percent from a year ago to 888.32 million tonnes during the same period, 5.3 percentage points more than the growth over the same period last year, according to the website of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

From January to October, steel exports increased 13.6 percent year on year to 51.97 million tonnes, while imports edged up 0.6 percent to 11.62 million tonnes, the NDRC data showed.

However, steel prices fell in October, with the steel price composite index down 1.62 points to 99.76 points, compared with 101.38 points in September, according to the NDRC.

China's iron and steel sector has been pounded by weak demand and falling prices and suffered greatly from overcapacity.

In July, President Xi Jinping urged that tackling overcapacity should be a priority, with more efforts to boost industrial restructuring.

Some 1,400 companies in 19 sectors, including steel, cement, electrolytic aluminum, plate glass and shipbuilding, were ordered by authorities to eliminate outdated production capacity by September and eliminate excess capacity by the end of the year.

The Chinese economy began to show signs of stabilization as gross domestic product expanded 7.8 percent in the third quarter, up from 7.5 percent in the second, leaving room for the country to overhaul its economy into a more sustainable growth pattern.

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