SHANGHAI, Jul 29 (SMM) — Operating rates of blast furnaces at steel mills stood flat on the week and decreased 1 percentage point from a month ago to 81.2% as of July 29, SMM survey showed.
The market is likely to see a wide range of production cut in H2 2021. However, steel mills were very reluctant to reduce production amid the high profits, so the operating rates basically stood stable this week. Based on the released data of product inventories, the operating rates are expected to drop slightly next week.
China will further adjust the export tariffs of some steel products, raising the export tariffs to 40% on ferrochrome and 20% on high-purity pig iron.
The policy will not increase the export tariff on hot-rolled products, and the HRC production has been reduced most significantly. Therefore, HRC prices have been sharply driven up.
Steel mills hold prices firmer amid higher market confidence boosted by the bullish news. Shanxi, Guangxi, and other regions further reduced production. Steel prices are expected to keep rising in the short term.
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