(Bloomberg) -- China is shaking up the global steelmaking rankings again, with a merger of two mills set to create the world’s third-biggest producer.
Ansteel Group’s annual crude steel capacity will rise to 63 million tons, with sales worth 300 billion yuan ($46 billion), after acquiring a 51% stake in Benxi Steel Group Co., according to a statement on Friday. That will see it trail only China Baowu Steel Group Corp. -- already the world’s biggest producer and with plans to be even bigger -- and ArcelorMittal SA.
The acquisition will deepen the country’s ongoing steel supply cuts, enhance industry concentration and also boost security of iron ore supply, Ansteel said. Combined annual iron ore output for the group will reach 50 million tons, said Li Xinchuang, a vice chairman of China Iron & Steel Association.
China’s steel sector has seen a series of mergers as the country seeks to pivot toward bigger, higher-quality producers that can operate more efficiently and have more sway in the market. Plans for the union were flagged in a stock exchange filing in April, though discussions have taken place since at least the early 2000s.
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