In view of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, SMM analysts have been actively interacting with the market participants, covering the impact of the coronavirus outbreak issues in China on physical metals markets. We have hosted a series of webinars with deep-dives in various metals sectors in February, and we thank you for the support.
The SMM Webinar Series continues in March, every Wednesdays 5pm CST. Our analysts will discuss the resumption and recovery of the metals supply chain, as China recovers progressively from COVID-19.
March 18 (Wednesday) 5pm CST: Ferrous supply chain Update
According to the latest research by SMM, the capacity utilisation ratio of domestic steel mills (without blast furnaces) has risen from 4% (as of Feb 21) to the current levels of 7.6% (as of Mar 6). Demand in the China steel market is recovering, as over 90% of the industrial provinces and enterprises have resumed operations as of Mar 9.
Meanwhile, the resumption rate of housing construction and municipal infrastructure projects has reached 58% (as of Mar 9, 40% higher than a month ago) , showing signs of improvement in steel demand.
On the iron ore front, SMM’ s research showed that domestic iron ore concentrates output in February fell by almost 8.7% on a month-on-month basis. Operating rates at private iron ore mines declined significantly, falling from 34.9 % in January to 29.6% in February.
SMM estimates the domestic iron ore output in March will be lower than a year ago, amid production restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic. Iron ore inventory at the ports also marked four consecutive weeks of decline. How are mills dealing with the recent inventory changes?