BEIJING, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- China's non-ferrous metal production expanded at a slower pace last year compared with a year earlier, according to new data.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said in a statement issued on Saturday that total production of 10 kinds of non-ferrous metals grew 9.3 percent year on year to 36.91 million tonnes in 2012, down 1.3 percentage points from a year earlier.
A total of 8,057 major non-ferrous metal producers tracked by the ministry cumulatively saw their profits decline 8.9 percent to 155.8 billion yuan (24.81 billion U.S. dollars), the statement said.
The MIIT explained that the sector was confronted with excessive production capacity, rising production costs and weak market demands in China and the rest of the world.
It forecast that the sector's total production will continue to grow at a moderate pace this year, and there is still no sufficient impetus to support strong rebounds in market demand due to faltering economic recovery around the world.
China's economy grew by 7.8 percent year on year in 2012, the slowest growth rate since 1999, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.