Chinese Crude Steel Production in April at Record High
Latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics shows that fuelled by strong profits China’s crude steel output hit an all-time high of 97.85 million tonnes in April, despite the government’s pledge to curb annual production to reduce pollution. That was up 4.1% from March 2021and 15% above output of 85.03 million tonnes in April 2020. China produced 374.56 million tonnes of crude steel in January-April 2021, up 16% YoY. Improving profit margins, stoked by rosy demand and sky rocketing steel prices, boosted mills’ appetite for production.
Steel production in China had been rising for two straight months, even though Chinese government has repeatedly vowed to ensure the country’s full-year output remains below the 1.065 billion tonnes produced in 2021. On May 7, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said it would continue to limit new steel production capacity in key areas to control air pollution with measures taking effect June 1. The unusual intervention follows a year of historically high production in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the slowest economic growth rate in 44 years.