SHANGHAI, Sep 2 (SMM) — Operating rates of blast furnaces at steel mills climbed 0.2% on the week and 0.1% from a month ago to 81.2% as of September 2, SMM survey showed. Blast furnace operating rates rose slightly this week and was generally stable, and is expected to edge down in the following week amid more blast furnace maintenance.
Iron ore prices fluctuated at low levels. Met coke prices have increased for the ninth round. Price changes on the raw material side were reduced. At the moment, there is no gap in the supply and demand of steel, and the inventory is still at a high level in the same period in recent years. The market maintained weak supply and demand. Demand recovery is slow currently. Steel prices are expected to fall if demand will not increase sharply.