China’s crude steel and finished steel production output rises in January-May
China’s crude steel output continued to grow rapidly over January-May, with the total volume surging 13.9% on year to 473.1 million tonnes, according to the latest release by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on June 16. However, the on-year growth has slower compared with the 15.6% on-year gain for the January-April period.
For May alone, China produced 99.5 million tonnes of crude steel, up 6.6% on year – slower than the sizzling on-year growth of 13.4% recorded in April – while the daily output last month averaged 3.21 million tonnes/day, down 1.6% from the average for April, Mysteel Global calculated based on the NBS data.
China’s finished steel production reached 124.7 million tonnes in May, up 7.9% on year and hitting a new high. This took total output for the first five months to 576.6 million tonnes, jumping by 16.8% from the same period last year, the official data showed.
In fact, despite the on-month retreat in daily production, China’s steel output still stayed at a very high level in May, as most Chinese steel mills kept their run-rates high last month given the positive margins they could earn on finished steel sales.
Nonetheless, in the latter half of May their profits were squeezed largely with the fall in steel prices.
Chinese steel prices experienced significant fluctuations in May following central government warnings about the rapid growth in bulk commodities prices, with the national price of HRB400E 20mm dia rebar reaching Yuan 5,257/t including the 13% VAT as of May 31, higher by Yuan 2/t from the end of April but far below the record high of Yuan 6,348/t set on May 12.