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NBS: China’s Jan-Jul steel output grows faster by 2.8%

China’s crude steel output grew at a faster pace over January-July, with the total tonnage up 2.8% on year to 593 million tonnes against the yearly growth of 1.4% over the first half of 2020, according to the latest data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

China’s daily crude steel output for July, however, retreated slightly from the record high in June, down 1.4% on month to 3.01 million tonnes/day, Mysteel Global calculatedbasing on the NBS data, most probably due to lower output in the first half of July.

Some of the Chinese steel producers, especially electric-arc-furnace mills, slowed down their pace of production in the first half of July with higher scrap costs, and steel production from the blast-furnace steel mills retreated to some extent too when they conducted mid-year maintenance on their furnaces, Mysteel Global understood form Mysteel’s series of survey.

For the whole July, China produced 93.4 million tonnes of crude steel, up 9.1% on year or 4.6 percentage points higher than in June, and the tonnage was 2% higher on month too, according to the NBS data released on August 14.

By July 16, the capacity utilization among the 71 independent EAF steelmakers did post the third week ease by 4.4 percentage points on week to 52.6%, and that of the 247 blast furnace steel mills also decreased to 92.96%, down another 0.12 percentage point on week, according to Mysteel’s surveys.

For finished steel output, it grew 9.9% on year to 116.9 million tonnes for July, taking the country’s total finished steel output to about 724 million tonnes over the first seven months of 2020, or up 3.7% on year against the 2.7% growth in H1, according to NBS data,

Higher finished steel output was probably boosted on the remaining healthy demand in consideration of the wet season in June-July and the market anticipation of better demand in August, Mysteel Global understood from the market.

The daily trading volume of construction steel comprising rebar, wire rod and bar-in-coil among China’s 237 traders averaged 217,620 t/d for July, up 4,052 t/d or 1.9% on month, and China’s HRB 400 20mm dia rebar price strengthened toward the end of July, reaching Yuan 3,805/tonne ($548) including the 13% VAT as of July 31, up Yuan 49/t on month, according to Mysteel’s data.

Written by Nancy Zheng, zhengmm@mysteel.com

Edited by Hongmei Li, li.hongmei@mysteel.com