The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is likely to delay the deadline to eliminate 335MPa strength rebar from May 1 to the end of this year as this grade accounts for 60% of that used in domestic construction steels and it will take some time to replace this strength of rebar in the market.

China has rolled out a series of policies to promote high-strength steel application and prohibit steel mills from producing low strength rebar and hot rolled silicon steel.

MIIT and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development jointly issued guidelines at the beginning of 2012 on increasing the use of high-strength steel products. According to the guide lines, China will eliminate the use of 335MPa rebar in construction projects by 2013 and gradually raise the ratio of 500MPa rebar in use. The target is for high-strength products to make up 80% of China’s rebar output and more than 65% of consumption in domestic building by the end of 2015.

In February, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) reiterated in one of its directives that 335MPa and 235MPa hot rolled rebar would be banned from being produced and sold from May 1 2013.

However, because of the wide use of 335 MPa rebar some institutes believe it is unrealistic to stop production and sales of the 335MPa rebar before May 1. Meanwhile, small and medium-sized steel mills have to invest heavily in updating production equipment, which will add to pressure on them as profits of steel mills are meagre across the board. As a result, MIIT is being asked to delay the end of 335MPa rebar deadline until the end of the year.