SHANGHAI, Aug 9 (SMM) – Hot-rolled steel production across 25 major Chinese steel mills in August is expected to fall by over 1.9% from the realised output in July as higher profits drove plants to produce more rebar and wire rods.
Maintenance on rolling lines and environmental restrictions at some mills also accounted for the lower scheduled output. The amount of hot-rolled output for domestic sales is planned at 8.48 million mt in August, down 3.9% month on month, and exports are scheduled to increase 28.3% to 739,000 mt.
Surveyed mills in the north planned to produce 4.7 million mt of hot-rolled products this month, down 0.2% from actual output last month. The scheduled volume for export will rise 23.4% from July, to 264,000 mt. Angang, Benxi Steel, Shougang, Tangsteel, and Tangshan Ganglu Steel are all about to cut their hot-rolled steel production with Baotou Steel, Tonghua Steel, Chenggang, Handan Steel, and Cangzhou Zhongtie increasing their planned output.
Environmental cuts across Tangshan city led to a 35% decrease in Tangsteel’s scheduled output in August, at 185,300 mt. At Angang in Liaoning province, production lines for 1,580mm hot-rolled steel are suspended from July 30 to August 12, as its two blast furnaces of 4,038 m³ undergo maintenance in turn till mid-August. Scheduled production at the mill stands at 480,000 mt this month, down 11% from actual output in July.
On environmental concerns, a two-week maintenance on 2,250mm hot-rolled products rolling machines at Shougang brought the mill’s planned output down by 4%, to 380,000 mt in August.
Baotou Steel planned to increase 14% of its hot-rolled steel production this month, to 332,000 mt, as the product’s profit margins were high for the mill. At Cangzhou Zhongtie, scheduled output is also set to rise 6% on the month to 670,000 mt. While three blast furnaces of 2,500 m³ are under staggered suspension from June 13 to August 30, converters operate normally in August.
Surveyed mills in the east are expected to produce 3.01 million mt of hot-rolled coil this month, down 4.4% from July. Planned volumes for exports are expected at 445,000 mt, up 113,000 mt.
Exports of hot-rolled coil at Rizhao Steel are set to gain from July’s 270,000 mt to 350,000 mt in August. Production of the mill is planned at 930,000 mt this month, flat from a month ago as the figure has reached its record high.
Shagang planned to produce 850,000 mt of hot-rolled steel in August, inching down 2% from the actual output in July, with planned exports up some 20,000 mt. Shandong Steel cut scheduled output by 41% on the month to 160,000 mt, amid tight supply of molten iron.
Central, south China
Surveyed mills in the central and south are estimated to produce 1.37 million mt of hot-rolled coil in August, up 1% from a month ago, with exports little changed at 30,000 mt.
Anyang Steel planned to raise its production by 17% to 340,000 mt. On current increasing profits at the mill, planned output for August was raised across several steel products, the mill told SMM.
Surveyed steelmakers in west China, including Jiuquan Steel and Pangang, planned to produce 304,000 mt of hot-rolled coil this month, down 12.6% from July.
As Jiuquan Steel planned to raise its production of the more profitable rebar and wire rods, hot-rolled output is set to fall by a sharp 40% from July to 50,000 mt. The production at Pangang is expected to fall by 4% to 254,000 mt on less molten iron supply as its #4 blast furnace underwent a two-month maintenance from July 22.