The outbreak of coronavirus in China has affected 30pc of steel plants, according to the Chinese Metal Society. Operating rate of electric furnaces at steel mills was less than 5pc. Blast furnaces, however, continued to function.
In late January, China’s crude steel production was 2938.71mn mt, up by 0.56pc from the prior-year period. Production of pig iron rose by 3.71pc to 2457.55mn mt and that of steel increased by 0.37pc to 13687.48mn mt, the society estimates.
In first 10 days of February China produced 2656.71mt of crude steel, up by 8.67pc from the prior-year period. Pig iron output in the period rose by 5.62pc to 215,415mt from a year ago. Demand in the period, however, declined by 30pc from the prior year. With an increase in output amid delayed construction projects and the resultant lower demand, iron and steel inventories in China have increased.
In early February, steel inventories at plants were 18.5147mn mt, an increase of 94.23pc from year ago.