SHANGHAI, Oct. 23 (SMM) – Data from the National Bureau of Statistics show that China’s ROM output in September hit a new high of 129.062 million mt for the year, up 1.22% YoY and 10.72% MoM. However, some were skeptical to the data, noting that output of mines is not likely to stage such a sharp increase given the upcoming 18th National People’s Congress.
According to analysis of Steelease, production in several regions, including Liaoning, Hebei, Shanxi, and Sichuan, were negatively affected by the weather during July and August, combined with the approach of the 18th NPC, secure production was highlighted. This has postponed the resumption of mines. With the influence from weather fading in mid-August, mines in Sichuan and Shanxi basically resumed operations in September, while a majority of mines in Hebei and Liaoning also restarted or planned to restart production during the month.
Despite the weak market in September, operating rates at large domestic mines remained unabated. Small and medium mines, though negatively affected by sluggishness in the market, reported higher operating rates in September compared with the levels in August on account of the National Day holiday and the explosive control for the 18th NPC, as well as limited production in winter. Some beneficiation plants contained operating rates to certain extent due to the falling concentrate prices.
With respect to the ROM output in October, Steelease believes output should be down noticeably since restrictions on explosive supply in Hebei, Liaoning, Shandong, and Shanxi were tightened around the National Day holiday, with explosive supply in some places suspended. Output is expected to recover in late November.