SHANGHAI, Sep 22 (SMM) - The operating rates of blast furnaces at steel mills fell 3.65% on the week and 4.5% from a month ago to 76.6% as of September 22, SMM survey showed. Increasing plants in Jiangsu and Shandong reduced or suspended production. The operating rates are expected to fluctuate rangebound.
The daily affected output reached over 100,000 mt in Jiangsu. The building materials output in Shandong declined sharply while its demand stabilised, which is the main reason for the recent price hike of rebar. The supply and demand for hot-rolled products weakened and prices rose slightly driven by rebar. Iron ore prices declined further as the authorities has repeatedly called for ensuring coal energy supply and stabilise prices. Met coke prices stabilise at high levels and the cost support has begun to weaken. The recovery of downstream demand is not satisfactory. Steel prices consolidated. The price increase of rebar is better than hot-rolled products.