Party’s over: As margins tumble, China steel mills brace for hard times



Manolo Serapio Jr and Muyu Xu | Reuters

MANILA/BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese steel producers ran up losses for the first time in three years this month as prices slid into a bear market on weak demand and near-record supply, ending years of solid profit margins. And with the world’s No. 2 economy cooling and facing increased risks from a growing trade war with the United States, China’s steelmakers are likely to feel more pain unless Beijing launches fresh stimulus measures, traders and analysts say. Amid tumbling prices, Chinese mills – which make half the world’s steel – are reining in costs by returning to cheaper, low-grade raw material iron ore, in a boon for miners like Australia’s Fortescue Metals Group (FMG.AX). Read more here