China Allows Tangshan Steel Mills to Operate at 70% Capacity
Global Times reported that furnaces in all major steel mills in Tangshan in North China's Hebei Province are firing again, which they plan to maintain until the end of the year. However, with China's continued pursuit of carbon emissions reductions, the furnaces are kept at 70% of capacity, except for those that meet the most stringent emissions standards. The move is seen as a relaxation from a more stringent production curb imposed earlier, which limited many steel mills to keeping their output at 50%, as the government balances strong demand for steel from a recovering economy and its environmental commitment.
However, considering an uptick in steel production in the first half of this year and the China's goal of not increasing steel output on an annual basis, Chinese crude steel output needs be slashed by some 60 million tonnes in the second half of 2021. Beijing Lange Steel Information Research Center Research Director Mr Wang Guoqing told the Global Times that “Steel mills will have to avoid producing about 60 million tonnes of crude steel in the second half, so as to maintain a commitment of not increasing crude steel output from the 2020 level. The production curbs in Tangshan, which started in March this year, could slash crude steel production by 34 million tonnes a year. Besides Tangshan in Hebei, other steel-producing provinces including East China's Anhui and Shandong and Northwest China's Gansu are all facing output reduction targets.”
In the first five months, China's crude steel output reached 473 million tonnes, up 13.9% YoY, contrary to stated Chinese government goal of not seeing an annual rise in crude steel production for 2021.