China’s crude steel production rose to 94.2mn mt in March, up by 19pc from the prior year at an average daily output of 3.033mn mt, according to the National Bureau of Statistics data. Crude steel output from January to March (Q1) was 271.04mn mt, up by 15.6pc from the prior year period.
In March, China’s steel output was 119.87mn mt, up by 20.9pc from the prior year, while the output was 329.4mn mt in Q1, up by 22.5pc from the prior year period. The average daily steel output was 3.867mn mt, up by 8.9pc from the prior month.
Pig iron production rose to 74.75mn mt, up by 8.9pc from the prior year at an average daily output of 2.411mn mt.
In Q1, China’s ferrous smelting and rolling processing industry operated at a capacity utilization rate of 81.7pc, against a national industrial average of 77.2pc, up by 9.3pc from the prior year.
China steel output improved despite production curb as lower production by some producers led to improved cost of steel prompting steelmakers to flirt with the restrictions. Higher profits due to increased domestic and international steel prices also encouraged production.
Key steelmakers in Tangshan, China’s steelmaking hub, have been asked to reduce production by 30-50pc in 2021 to reduce carbon emissions. Production level in year over year comparison is elevated also because of a lower base last year due to the impact of COVID-19. A healthy demand outlook and production cuts are supporting higher domestic steel prices and production volumes.