The daily average crude steel output in China, based on figures from major Chinese steelmakers, was 1.8241Mt for the period 1 to 10 May 2014, up 1.57% from the previous 10 days.

For the whole of the May, the estimated daily average crude steel output is 2.3Mt.

Analysts attribute such high production rates to shrinking steel stockpiles and bigger slumps in raw material prices. Stockpiles at major steelmakers in the country totalled 14.298Mt, down 0.29% from 10 days earlier and social steel stockpiles in Chinese cities dropped to 14.6363Mt by 16 May, down 5.2% from the end of April.

China's crude steel production for Q1 2014 was up 2.7% year-on-year to 271.86Mt. In April, daily average crude steel output was up 1.26% at 2.2947Mt.

In Tangshan in Northern China, 83.36% of furnaces were operational on 16 May and 163 steelworks achieved an operational rate of 88.26%

China imported 83.39Mt of iron ore in April, up 24.18% year-on-year. From January to April 2014, iron ore imports totalled 305.34Mt, up 20.7% year-on-year.

The Chinese steel market is still oversupplied. Domestic production is expanding, there is sluggish demand and the country's macro economy is showing signs of weakening.

Source: China Metals