CISA: Member mills’ late-Mar daily steel output dips 0.2%

Posted on 08 April 2021

Daily crude steel output among the member mills of the China Iron & Steel Association (CISA) slipped continuously over March 21-31, down 3,400 tonnes/day from the prior ten days to 2.21 million t/d on average, partly due to the ongoing restrictions on the 23 steel mills in Tangshan of North China’s Hebei province, Mysteel Global noted.

These mills’ daily steel output for late March, nevertheless, was 21% higher on year because of the lower base number in 2020 when the country just restarted the industrial and economic activities after the COVID-19 battle, and for the whole March, their daily crude steel production averaged 2.22 million t/d, down 2% on month but up 21.4% on year, the association’s release showed.

Based on its members, CISA estimated China’s national daily crude steel output at 2.9 million t/d over the last eleven days of March, down 0.07% from March 11-20 but up 17.1% on year.

Mysteel’s survey among a wider group of 318 Chinese steel mills nationwide, though, showed that their daily average steel output reversed up 2.2% over the last eleven days of March from mid-March.

Another Mysteel’s survey among the 126 blast furnaces in Tangshan, though, did confirm that their average capacity utilization had hit a new low since August 2019, or having slipped for the fifth straight week by 1.19 percentage points on week to 58.52% over March 25-31, indicating the significant impact of the production restrictions in Tangshan.

Better sales while lower output saw finished steel stocks at CISA’s member mills emptied further in late March to 14.7 million tonnes as of March 31, down 2.8 million tonnes or 16% from March 20, according to the association’s release.

Spot construction steel sales among China’s 237 trading houses under Mysteel’s survey including rebar, wire rod and bar-in-coil averaged 247,515 t/d over March 21-31, by 42,651 t/d or 20.8% from March 11-20, and the robust demand has been continuing into April, adding on the uncertainties on the production.

So far, China’s domestic steel prices have performed rather strongly, and as of April 6, the national HRB400E 20mm rebar price surged by Yuan 387/tonne ($59/t) on week to a new 9.5-year high of Yuan 5,117/t including the VAT as of April 6, according to Mysteel’s data.

Source : Mysteel Global