SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's Baoshan Iron & Steel Co Ltd <600019.SS>, the country's biggest listed steelmaker by market value, posted a 57 percent fall in net profit for the first nine months of the year as a faltering economic recovery and record steel production weighed on prices.
Net profit was 4.64 billion yuan (474.17 million pounds) in the January-to-September period, the Shanghai-based company said in a filing to the Shanghai stock exchange. It did not provide profit figures for the July-September quarter.
Based on its first-half results, Baosteel's profit in the third quarter was 940 million yuan ($154.47 million), down 20.3 percent from a year ago, according to Reuters calculations. Last year's third-quarter profit was boosted by the sale of its steel assets.
Steel demand in China, the world's top producer and consumer, remained strong in the first three quarters this year, driven by property and infrastructure, but a rapid rise in production has curbed prices, eating into mills' margins.
"Although the global and domestic economy improved slightly in the third quarter, there was little improvement in steel fundamentals," the company said.
"The outlook remains uncertain in the fourth quarter. The company will continue to manage costs, keep its operations lean and improve its sales to improve its performance."
China's steel output climbed 7.8 percent to 521.8 million tonnes for the first three quarters from a year earlier. The supply glut has dragged down Chinese steel futures prices by 15 percent so far this year.(Reporting by Ruby Lian and Kazunori Takada; Editing by Michael Urquhart)