China's large and medium-sized steel mills reported profits of 33.15 billion yuan (about 4.77 billion U.S. dollars) in the first eleven months of 2016, according to the latest report of the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA).
That compared to a loss of 52.91 billion yuan in the same period of 2015, CISA data showed.
Of the 99 steel mills tracked by CISA, the average profit margin stood at 1.28 percent in the said period, said the CISA report.
China's manufacturing sector continues to expand, with the official manufacturing PMI, which surveys larger companies, standing at 51.4 in December, lower than the 51.7 in November but above the boom-bust line of 50 for the fifth straight month.
The steel industry still has a long way to go to increase profit margins, said Li Xinchuang, CISA vice-president, adding that this year the industry will continue to cut excessive and outdated capacity.