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China's crude steel production in January-February increased by 5.6% y-o-y

China's crude steel production in the first two months of 2023 increased by 5.6% compared to the previous year. Official data showed on Wednesday that many domestic steel mills increased production in February in anticipation of increased demand in March.

China's crude steel production in January-February increased by 5.6% y-o-y

According to the country's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), China, the world's largest steel producer, produced 168.7 million tons of metal in January and February.

The average daily production was 2.86 million tons, an increase of 13.8% compared to the daily average in December 2022 and a 6.8% increase compared to the daily average of 2.68 million tons in the corresponding period of 2022.

The blast furnace capacity utilization rate increased by 5.77 points from 75.21% at the end of December 2022 to 80.98% as of February 24.

As part of its efforts to support its economy, which has been constrained by strict measures aimed at controlling COVID-19 for most of 2022, China has implemented a number of stimulus policies, especially in the real estate market.

Crude steel production from China increased by 2.3% to 79.5 million tons in January.

Iron ore imports also increased during this period, reaching 194 million tons in January and February, up 7.3 percent y-o-y, the highest figure ever for two months according to data obtained earlier in the month.

Analysts predict that average daily production will increase further in March as China enters its peak construction season, creating strong demand for steel.

Beijing has not made clear whether it will stick to its policy of zero growth in annual crude steel production this year, but analysts expect annual output to either remain stable or increase slightly in 2023.


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