SMM News: the National Development and Reform Commission released the operation of the iron and steel industry from January to July 2020:
First, iron and steel production continues to grow. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, from January to July, the national output of pig iron, crude steel and steel products was 510.86 million tons, 593.17 million tons and 723.95 million tons respectively, up 3.2%, 2.8% and 3.7% respectively over the same period last year.
Second, steel exports continue to decline and imports continue to grow. According to data from the General Administration of Customs, from January to July, China exported a total of 32.88 million tons of steel, down 17.6 percent from the same period last year, and imported 9.948 million tons of steel, an increase of 49.3 percent over the same period last year.
Third, steel prices continue to rise. By the end of July, China's composite steel price index had rebounded to 104.52 points, up 1.5 per cent from the end of June and 4.98 points, or 4.55 per cent, from the same period a year earlier, according to the China Iron and Steel Association.
Fourth, the efficiency of enterprises has declined compared with the same period last year. From January to July, the China Iron and Steel Association focused on statistics that iron and steel enterprises realized sales income of 2.47 trillion yuan, an increase of 3.3 percent over the same period last year; profits of 86.87 billion yuan, down 28.6 percent from the same period last year, and sales profit margins of 3.52 percent, 1.57 percent lower than the same period last year.
Fifth, steel inventory increased slightly. The social inventory of five kinds of steel (rebar, wire rod, hot rolled coil, cold rolled coil and medium and heavy plate) in the country's major cities rose slightly to 12.57 million tons at the end of July, up 3.4% from the previous month and down 37.8% from the peak in early March this year.
VI. Import mineral prices continue to rise. According to the General Administration of Customs, the country imported 659.555 million tons of iron ore from January to July, an increase of 11.8 per cent over the same period last year. The average price of imported fine ore (62% grade) in July was 106.53 US dollars per tonne, up 5.76 US dollars per tonne from the previous month, or 5.7 per cent.
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