China blast furnace capacity use ease 3rd week

Posted on 07 September 2020

The blast furnace capacity (BF) utilization rate among China’s 247 steel mills dipped for the third week, inching down another 0.13 percentage point on week to 94.52 % over August 28-September 3, though it still perched at the plateau since Mysteel updated the survey samples in January 2019, showing that many of the surveyed mills had just been fine tuning their steel production.

During the latest survey period, these mills’ daily molten iron output edged down on lower BF capacity utilization by 3,400 tonne/day on week to 2.52 million t/d in total during the survey period, though the operating rate of the blast furnaces among these mills remained unchanged for the third week at 91.41%, according to the survey.

“Currently, we will continue to produce almost at our full capacity,” an official from a steel mill in Shaanxi, Northwest China, confirmed, as “we are still optimistic about the near-term domestic steel demand as the weather will be getting more favorable for industrial activities soon, though not now,” he added.

The remaining high BF engagement rate led to higher consumption of iron ore too, and the daily iron ore discharge volume from China’s 45 ports, most by the Chinese steel mills, rebounded by 148,900 tonnes/day or 4.8% on week to 3.26 million tonnes – a rather high level after a two-week dip because of the typhoons earlier on, according to Mysteel’s other survey.

Iron ore prices had been on the recovery path too, and as of September 3, Mysteel’s PORTDEX 62% Fe Australian Fines index returned to Yuan 963/wmt ($141/wmt) FOT Qingdao and including the 13% VAT, or up Yuan 18/wmt on week, though it was still below the over seven-year high of Yuan 971/wmt over August 20-21.

Over August 28-September 3, Mysteel’s survey on a smaller sample of 163 steel plants across China showed that their BF capacity utilization also decreased further by 0.76 percentage point on week to 78.43%.

 

Written by Victoria Zou, zyongjia@mysteel.com

Edited by Hongmei Li, li.hongmei@mysteel.com

Source : Mysteel Global