Chinese steel exports surged 52% year-on-year in January 2015 despite the removal of a tax rebate for boron-steel exports from the beginning of the year.

The Chinese exported 10.29Mt of steel products in January, up from 10.17Mt in December 2014.

Iron ore and concentrate imports were down 9.4% to 78.57Mt in January and were down 50.3% when compared with the same period last year.

China’s major steelmakers saw their daily average crude steel output down 0.35% for the period January 21-31 when compared with the previous week (January 11-20). The figure stood at 1.6881Mt, according to the China Iron & Steel Association (CISA).

With steel prices falling sharply, leading to less steel production, Chinese mills started plant overhauls earlier than usual.

By January 31 steel inventories were up by 0.03% when compared with 10 days earlier and steel demand has slowed as downstream producers suspend operations for the Spring Festival (18-25 February).

Fixed asset investment in China’s iron and steel industry is also down, according to the annual report of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

Fixed asset investment into iron smelting slumped 40.4% while steel smelting fell 10.5% and rolling and processing fell 4.8%.

Source: China Metals.