SHANGHAI, Oct 31 (SMM) – China produced 748 million mt of crude steel in January to September, 8.36% higher from the same period last year, said China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) executive vice-chairman He Wenbo at a press conference on October 29.
Domestic production of crude steel this year will likely increase 7.1% from that in 2018, to stand at 994 million mt. “The growth rate is considered rather high given a high base in 2018,” He said.
He added that the additions in steel output were consumed domestically as both inventories and exports shrank.
“Significant increase in manufacturing costs squeezed margins at steelmakers,” the official said, citing that sales profit rate across CISA member mills fell 3 percentage points year on year to 4.6% in January to September.
CISA data showed that, in January to August, steelmakers in China produced 665 million mt of crude steel, up 9.1% from the same period last year.
Mr He stated in early October that China produced 55.51 million mt more iron and steel in the first eight months of the year to meet rising domestic demand.
Separately, domestic production of steel products in the first three quarters was 10.6% higher from a year earlier, standing at 909 million mt, according to CISA data.