Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

China’s crude steel output exceeds 1bn mt mark to 1.05bn mt in 2020, up 5.2pc from 2019. Early recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic fueled by government stimulus lead to a fourth successive year of over 1bn mt steel production in China. 


In December, China crude steel production rose to 91.25mn mt, up by 7.7pc from a year ago, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics. The average daily output of crude steel was 2.944mn mt and steel products 3.882mn mt, in December. 


Pig iron output rose by 5.4pc to 74.22mn mt from a year ago in December. In 2020, pig iron output rose by 4.3pc to 88.552mn mt from 2019.


China’s steel export in December rose by 3.5pc to 4.850mn mt, according to official customs data. In 2020, steel exports fell by 16.5pc to 53.671mn mt amid a slump in global steel demand as economies activities slowed due to the lockdowns imposed to control the spread of the pandemic. However, robust domestic steel demand and stable prices supported steelmakers in China. 

Steel imports fell to 1.375mn mt in December, down by 7.3pc from the prior year. For the full year, imports rose by 64.4pc to 20.233mn mt as Chinese mills took advantage of low steel demand in other countries and imported semi-finished steel at prices lower than domestic markets.


In December, iron ore and concentrate imports fell by 4.5pc to 96.746mn mt from a year ago. The average import price was $121.4/mt. In 2020, iron ore imports rose to 117.10mn mt,  up by 9.5pc from a year ago. For the full year, average import price was $101.7/mt.

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