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Hebei remains China’s top steel producing province in H1

Posted on 22 July 2021

North China’s Hebei province produced 121.5 million tonnes of crude steel in H1, maintaining its position as the largest steel producing province in China, according to the latest data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Yet during January-June, Hebei was also the only province/region among the top ten where production actually declined on year, the data show.

 

Hebei’s contribution to the country’s total crude steel output shrank from 23.7% for the whole year of 2020 to 21.6% in H1 this year, due to the 0.8% on-year decline against increases in other provinces/regions.

Contributing to Hebei’s decline were the tough restrictions on mills in Tangshan, China’s top steel producing city located in Hebei. Since late March, steel producers in Tangshan had been asked to observe production curbs of 30% or 50%, as part of city government measures to tackle its long-held problem of severe air pollution.

Moreover, steel mills in Tangshan and other cities in Hebei were required to bank all blast furnaces for several days from the end of June in preparation for celebrations in nearby Beijing to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China on July 1, as Mysteel Global reported.

Therefore, in June alone, crude steel output of Hebei declined by a notable 17.4% on year to 18.3 million tonnes, NBS’s data showed.

After Hebei, Jiangsu and Shandong remained the country’s second and third largest steel producing provinces. Over the six months, their crude steel output increased further by 12.8% and 17% on year to 63.6 million tonnes and 45.3 million tonnes respectively.

Significantly, the NBS numbers clearly show that crude steel production in Hubei province, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in late January last year, has fully recovered. In fact, the data indicated that the 18.7% on-year increase in its output enabled Hubei to surpass Anhui again and reclaim its position as China’s sixth largest province in steel.

In H1, double-digit growth in crude steel output was witnessed in most of the 31 provinces/municipalities/regions tracked by NBS. Market insiders suggest that the table could be a good indicator of how severe each province’s cut in output might be this half, given that China aims to rein in crude steel output this year from last year.

“It will be the unified goal of every province (region) to make sure its crude steel output is lower on year, so those that saw higher (output) growth in H1 will be facing harsher restrictions in H2,” a Shanghai-based steel analyst commented. 

Source : Mysteel Global