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NBS: China’s Jan-Sept steel output grows faster at 4.5%

China’s crude steel output over January-September grew at a faster pace of 4.5% on year to about 782 million tonnes against 3.7% on-year growth for the first eight months, according to the latest release from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on October 19, and its September daily crude steel output hit a new record high, Mysteel Global noted.

For September alone, China produced 92.6 million tonnes of crude steel, up 10.9% on year or down 2.4% on month because of the one-day difference, and its daily steel output averaging about 3.09 million tonnes/day, up another 0.8% on month or having stayed above the 3 million t/d for the fourth consecutive month, Mysteel Global calculated basing on the NBS data.

NBS data was in line with the survey of the China Iron & Steel Association (CISA) among its member mills with most being large and medium-sized steel producers, which showed that their daily crude steel output gained 0.4% on month or 8.6% on year, according to the association’s release on October 10.

As for finished steel, the output was in pace with crude steel in growth in September, up 12.3% on year to 118 million tonnes, taking the country’s total for the first three quarters to 964 million tonnes, up 5.6% on year, or 0.8 percentage point higher than the on-year growth over January-August, according to the NBS data.

The fast growths were understandable, as most of the Chinese steel mills of all scales had maintained high production last month whenever possible and September is usually robust steel consumption month in China, even though the steel sales failed to meet market expectation in September 2020.

Mysteel’s survey among the 237 traders across China showed that their daily trading volume of construction steel comprising rebar, wire rod and bar-in-coil registered 225,351 t/d on average for September, up another 5,296 t/d or 2.4% on month.

Besides, the domestic steel mills remained overall confident on the Chinese market in general for 2020 with the government support in place for the whole year, which was not wavered much even when their steel margins thinned or even fell to the negative zone in September on higher raw material costs, lower domestic steel prices, and persistently high steel inventories, Mysteel Global noted.

China’s national price of HRB 400 20mm dia rebar, however, had been on a downtrend after having hit its eight-month high on September 3, with the monthly average down Yuan 35/tonne ($5.2/t) on month to Yuan 3,807/t for September, according to Mysteel’s data.

Written by Nancy Zheng, zhengmm@mysteel.com

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