China’s steel output hits new record high in May
China's crude steel output hit a new record high in May as construction and manufacturing demand ramped up after Covid-19 lockdowns ended.
Crude steel output totalled 92.27mn t last month, up by 8.5pc from April and higher by 4.2pc from a year earlier, according to national bureau of statistics data.
Crude steel output on a t/d basis increased by 5pc to 2.976mn t/d from 2.834mn t/d in April.
Total production in January-May rose by 1.9pc from a year earlier to 411.75mn t, an annualised pace of 1.002bn t. May output equated to 1.086bn t/yr on an annualised basis.
Output had been expected to rise in May given strong domestic demand, widening profit margins and an influx of spot import orders for finished and semi-finished steel as the economy rapidly recovered from Covid-19.
Hot-rolled coil prices in Shanghai rose the fastest, gaining by 310 yuan/t ($44/t) to Yn3,600/t ex-warehouse over the course of May. Shanghai rebar prices rose by Yn100/t to Yn3,550/t ex-warehouse in the same period.
Pig iron output increased by 2.4pc from a year earlier to 72.32mn t in May, and was up by 7.3pc from April. January-May output up increased by 1.5pc to 355.99mn t.
Real estate sector investment fell by 0.3pc from a year earlier in the first five months of this year, narrowing from a 3.3pc drop in January-April. New project starts fell by 12.8pc in area terms in January-April, compared with a 18.4pc decline in the first four months of the year.
Real estate sales fell by 12.3pc in area terms, narrower than a 19.3pc drop in January-April.
More than 70pc of China's steel is consumed in the construction and machinery sectors.
Infrastructure investment declines also narrowed, falling by 6.3pc in January-May compared with an 11.8pc drop in January-April.
|China May ferrous output data||'000s t|
|May-20||Apr-20||Pc on-year||Jan-May 2020||Pc on-year|
|Crude steel output||92,270||85,030||4.2%||411,750||1.9%|
|All steel output||114,530||107,010||6.2%||488,190||1.2%|
|Pig iron ore output||77,320||72,020||2.4%||355,990||1.5%|
|Met coke output||39,080||38,550||-3.2%||187,840||-2.8%|
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