SHANGHAI, Jul 31 (SMM) – China’s top steelmaking hub, Tangshan in Hebei province, is mulling looser restrictions on steelmakers next month, according to a draft plan for smog control in August that was drawn up by local environmental authorities.
The potential ease will bolster steel production, which was moderately lowered by intensified anti-smog measures in July and exert pressure on steel prices.
The draft plan, submitted to the city government on July 28, will exempt blast furnaces at 16 steelmakers from production curbs.
Other blast furnaces at steel mills across the region will face a smaller cut of 30%, compared to 50% in July. This will exclude Tangshan Stainless Steel and Tangyin Steel, who are required to continue to implement a curtailment of 50%.
Restrictions of 20-50% are imposed on sintering and pelletising machines across those steelmakers.
About 1.34 million mt of pig iron output and 2 million mt of iron ore demand is expected to be impacted by the smog control plan in August, if the draft receives approval from the city government, according to SMM calculations.
Tangshan’s production curbs in July affected output of pig iron by about 3.2 million mt and demand for iron ore by 5.88 million mt.