China’s crude steel output is forecast to reach about 750Mt in 2013, up from 716.5Mt last year. The country’s apparent consumption of crude steel will stay around 700Mt this year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

The meager profits faced by steelmakers are likely to extend into this year as demand from downstream industries has not shown signs of recovery and overcapacity has yet to be resolved, according to the MIIT.
To adjust the steel industry structure and ensure the industry’s smooth running, the ministry will focus on resolving the surplus steel capacity this year.

China produced 716.54Mt of crude steel in 2012, up 3.1% over the previous year’s 694Mt. Iron production reached 657.91Mt, up 3.7%; and finished steel (including double accounting) 951.86Mt up 7.7%. Compared with the previous year, the growth rates of the three products fell by 4.2, 4.7 and 2.2%, respectively.
In 2012 China exported 55.73Mt of steel, up 14%, and imported 13.66Mt of steel, down 12.3%.

The total import of iron ore stood at 743.55Mt, up 8.4%, with an average price of US$128.6/t, down $35.4/t.
Due to sharp decline in steel selling prices, steelmakers were selling at almost no profit, and fixed asset investment in the industry went up slightly by 3% to RMB 658.4bn (US$105.9bn).

Source: China Metals e-mail