SHANGHAI, Mar. 14 (SMM) - According to the NBS, iron ore output in February was 88.634 million mt, up 2.4% MoM from 86.539 million mt in the previous month, and up 8.67% YoY. January-February output was 175 million mt, up 14.43% YoY, with annualized output of 1.08 billion mt. Daily output in February averaged 3.166 million mt, up 13% MoM.
Some mines suspended production in February due to the Chinese New Year holiday, and explosive supply near Beijing was also stopped, which affected mining operation. But output in Shandong province grew owning to high profits. Besides, output in Shanxi also grew in February as newly-built capacities in Yuanjia country were released. Steelease believes output in March should grow further.
First, mines in north China regions including Liaoning restarted production due to the improving weather. Second, mines that had suspended due to the holiday restarted production. Third, mines are now willing to produce as profits of concentrates (with the exception of Inner Mongolia) are above RMB 100/mt.
But steel plant buying interest decreased significantly due to negative factors, so many SMEs postponed their production plans. Besides, explosive supply was suspended due to the opening of NPC and CPPCC. As such, iron ore output growth should be modest in March.