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Exports of steel products hits record high in 2011

overiteMar.15.2012 15:38

Korea's exports of steel products rose to a record high last year, buoyed by rising overseas demand and increased production capacity, a local steel association said Wednesday.

Local steelmakers, led by leader POSCO, exported 28.48 million tons last year, up 9.3 percent from a year earlier, according to the Korea Iron and Steel Association (KOSA).

Exports accounted for 39.7 percent of total steel output. On the other hand, domestic firms imported some 22.96 million tons of steel products last year, falling 8.5 percent over the cited period, the association said.

The association said the increased exports were attributable to increased production capacity and overseas demand.

"Increased spending on facility expansion over the past years helped boost overseas sales and reduce imports," said an official at the association.

The KOSA predicted that the nation's steel exports would rise 4.1 percent on-year to 29.65 million tons this year. But steel imports are expected to decline 4.6 percent to 21.91 million tons this year, it said.

Meanwhile, the country produced 71.62 million tons of steel products last year, up 8.6 percent from a year earlier, as they boosted production facilities, it said.

Hyundai Steel Co. and other local steelmakers have boosted output capacity over the past few years to meet rising demand and better compete with foreign rivals. (Yonhap)