China's steel sector is slowing down as market demand and business activities weakened in July.
The purchasing managers' index (PMI) for China's iron and steel industry came in at 47.9 for July, down 0.3 percentage points from June, according to the CFLP Steel Logistics Professional Committee.
A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a reading below reflects contraction.
Sub-indices for production and business activities, purchases, import and raw material stock all remained in the contraction zone.
The growth of demand in the steel market slowed down with the new orders index down by 2.1 percentage points from June as bad weather plagued construction projects.
The price for raw materials is still climbing. The index of raw material purchase price index hit 66.5, the third straight month above the 60-percent level.
The committee expected steel production to pick up in August as weather conditions improve and demand for steel rises, while the steel price is likely to face many uncertainties.