SHANGHAI, May 27 (SMM) — Operating rates of blast furnaces at steel mills fell 1.2 percentage points from a week ago and decreased 0.9 percentage point from a month ago to 85.7% as of May 27, SMM survey showed. Operating rates of blast furnaces across Chinese steelmakers turned to decline due to unexpected power and production curtailment in Yunnan and Guangdong and the implementation of policies such as capacity reduction.
Five departments including the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, the State Administration for Market Supervision, and the China Securities Regulatory Commission held a meeting on the morning of May 23 to jointly talk with key enterprises with strong market influence in iron ore, steel, copper, and aluminium industries. The Iron and Steel Industry Association and the Nonferrous Metals Association participated. The meeting clarified that, in the next step, relevant regulatory authorities will closely follow the trend of commodity prices, strengthen the joint supervision of commodity futures and the spot market with no tolerance for illegal activities, continue to increase law enforcement inspections, investigate abnormal transactions and malicious speculation, resolutely and severely investigate and deal with illegal acts such as reaching monopoly agreements, spreading false information, driving up prices, and hoarding.
Affected by policies, the ferrous metals continued to fall, and China is determined to stabilize prices. Recently, prices have fallen back to the levels of March and April. Prices fluctuated sharply and downstream businesses had no profits. Only when the prices of raw materials fall can the industry chain operate normally. China is also actively supporting small, medium and micro enterprises to cope with the impact of price changes. Futures also continued to fall, market sentiment plummeted, and overall transactions were weak. Coupled with the rainy season, it is difficult for steel prices to rise sharply. It is expected that steel prices will stabilize and fall in the near term. Many downstream companies want to take this opportunity to restock at low prices in June and July. Affected by the demand side, steel prices may increase slightly in June.
Operating rates of blast furnaces at Chinese steelmakers