Xinhua news agency reported that China’s Industry and Information Technology Minister Mr Xiao Yaqing has called on the Chinese steel sector, as an energy intensive industry, to resolutely reduce output and ensure there is a year-on-year decline in 2021. Speaking at an annual work conference, Mr Xiao noted “China has managed to reach its goal of shutting 150 million tonnes of annual steel capacity ahead of schedule in the current Five Year Plan period covering 2016-20 and achieved a significant drop in carbon intensity. However, low carbon operations, energy saving and green manufacturing remain priorities in the year ahead A new set of measures on implementing capacity swaps in the steel sector would be released in 2021.”
The report did not provide further details. In China, steel mills are unable to launch any new capacity unless an equal or bigger volume of old capacity has been shut.
China is set to churn out more than 1 billion tonnes of crude steel for the first time in 2020 and a government consultancy recently estimated output would rise a further 1.4% in 2021 amid rapid economic growth and increased fixed-asset investment.
The last time annual steel output in China fell was in 2015