China’s Steel Output Hits New Highs
Whether it’s capacity cuts, pollution controls, government closures, economic troubles or tariffs on exports, nothing seems to stop China’s mills from producing more steel.
Despite a three-year campaign to slash excess production capacity and government curbs to fight smog, the country’s steelmakers have continued to set monthly records for output.
In July, China’s crude steel production rose 7.2 percent from a year earlier to 81.24 million metric tons, making it the third month in a row over the 80-million ton mark
So far this year, production is running 6.3 percent ahead of the 2017 record rate, a pace that would put output on track to top 884 million tons in 2018.
the boom may have leveled off in August as a purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for steel edged down to 53.4 from 54.8 in July, although it stayed well above the expansion-contraction tipping point of 50.
The steel indicator was significantly higher than the official PMI reading for all manufacturing, which ticked up to 51.3 from 51.2 a month before.
Last year, China accounted for 49.2 percent of global steel manufacturing, the World Steel Association said. In figures compiled through May, China’s share of the reported world total reached 50.7 percent.
At the 2017 rate, China made more steel in a month than the United States made in a year.
Chinese steelmakers’ records this year have been all the more remarkable in light of the forces lined up against them.