Pig iron production

Chinese steelmakers generally did not shut down their blast furnaces during the New Year holidays

Blast furnace capacity utilization among 247 Chinese steelmakers rose for the sixth consecutive week on February 9-15, according to Mysteel data.

During this period, the figure reached 83.97%, up 0.17% from the previous week. At the same time, on February 9-15, daily pig iron production at 247 enterprises averaged 2.25 million tons per day.

Last week, one blast furnace was put back into operation after repairs, which led to a slight increase in total pig iron production. During the same period, two smaller blast furnaces were shut down for scheduled maintenance.

The country’s steelmakers generally did not shut down blast furnaces during the Chinese New Year holidays, which officially lasted from February 10 to 17, although domestic trade in steel products virtually stopped.

The average daily consumption of imported iron ore among 247 steel producers also increased for the sixth consecutive week, reaching 2.76 million tons per day on February 9-16. At the same time, most Chinese steelmakers stopped purchasing this raw material last week as suppliers left the market for the holiday season. Therefore, steel mills could only use their own stocks for production.

As GMK Center reported earlier, Chinese steelmakers produced 1.019 billion tons of steel in 2023, up 0.6% from 2022. Thus, the downward trend in the country’s steel industry has stopped after two consecutive years of declining production. Pig iron production last year amounted to 871 million tons, up 0.7% y/y.