OREANDA-NEWS. Sales at Taiwan's China Steel fell by 4pc in the first half of 2017, leaving the company unable to take full advantage of gains in prices and profit margins.

Steel sales totalled 5.37mn t in this year's first six months, down from almost 5.6mn t in January-June 2016. Almost all the decline occurred in the second quarter, after sales in January-March were little changed from a year earlier at about 2.7mn t. The drop accelerated in June, when volumes tumbled by 11pc to less than 846,000t.

About 32pc of China Steel's first-half sales were exports, up slightly from 31pc a year earlier. Steelmakers in Asia-Pacific are benefitting from a restructuring of China's steel industry, which is easing a capacity glut and contributing to higher market prices.

China Steel's first-half revenue rose by 22pc year on year to NT$167.8bn ($5.53bn), as higher prices outweighed the impact of lower sales. Operating profit climbed by 26pc to T$11.6bn.