BEIJING, April 1 (Reuters) - China's crude steel production is expected to rise 2.9 percent to 737 million tonnes in 2013, a senior official with Baoshan Iron and Steel (Baosteel) , one of China's biggest steelmakers, said on Monday.
He Wenbo, the chairman of Baosteel's listed unit, told shareholders in an online briefing that apparent steel consumption in China was expected to reach 698 million tonnes this year, up around 4 percent from 2012.
He said overcapacity remained a problem, with total utilisation rates seen at around 75 percent in 2013, down from around 78 percent in 2012.
He also said profits were likely to have remained 'relatively steady' in the first quarter of 2013, with higher product prices cancelled out by rising costs over the period.
Baosteel's net profit in 2012 rose 41 percent to 10.39 billion yuan ($1.67 billion), compared with 7.36 billion yuan a year earlier, thanks to a one-off sale of some of its unprofitable assets, the company said last week.
(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Clarence Fernandez) Keywords: CHINA BAOSTEEL/
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