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Operation of the steel industry from January to September 2021

Nov. 01, 2021
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1. Crude steel output continued to decline year-on-year. Since July, crude steel output has maintained a year-on-year decline for three consecutive months. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, in September, the national crude steel output was 73.75 million tons, down 21.2% year-on-year; the pig iron output was 65.19 million tons, down 16.1% year-on-year; the steel output was 101.95 million tons, down 14.8% year-on-year. From January to September, the country’s cumulative crude steel output was 806 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 2.0%; the cumulative pig iron output was 671 million tons, a year-on-year decrease of 1.3%; the cumulative steel output was 1.020 billion tons, a year-on-year increase of 4.6%.

2. Steel prices fluctuate at a high level. Steel prices remained high, but generally stable. According to data from the China Iron and Steel Association, at the end of September, the domestic steel composite price index was 157.70 points, up 4.4% month-on-month and 48.8% year-on-year, and down 17.11 points, or 9.8%, from the high of 174.81 points in mid-May.

3. Steel exports fell month-on-month. According to data from the General Administration of Customs, in September, China exported 4.92 million tons of steel, an increase of 28.5% year-on-year, and a decrease of 13.3% from the previous month; imported steel 1.26 million tons, a year-on-year decrease of 56.3%, and an increase of 18.2% month-on-month. From January to September, China exported 53.02 million tons of steel products, a year-on-year increase of 31.3%; cumulative imports of steel products were 10.72 million tons, a year-on-year decrease of 28.9%.

4., the price of iron ore has returned to a reasonable level, but the price of coke has increased significantly. According to data from the General Administration of Customs, in September, the average price of imported iron ore in China was US$177.4/ton, an increase of 60.1% year-on-year, and a decrease of US$30.2/ton or 14.5% from the August average price of US$207.6/ton. From January to September, China imported 842 million tons of iron ore, down 3.1% year-on-year, and the average price was US$179.1/ton, up 81.3% year-on-year. According to data from the China Coking Industry Association, in September, the average price of coke with a particle size greater than 40 mm was 4054 yuan/ton, a year-on-year increase of 107.37%. From January to September, the average price of coke with a particle size greater than 40 mm was 2798 yuan/ton, a year-on-year increase of 51.65%.

5. Steel stocks declined slightly. The supply of steel in the steel market is basically sufficient, corporate inventories have increased slightly year-on-year, and social inventories have decreased slightly year-on-year. According to statistics from the China Iron and Steel Association, in late September, the steel inventory of key statistical enterprises was 11.95 million tons, an increase of 3.1% from the same period last year and a decrease of 11.0% from the end of August. The social inventory of five major types of steel in 20 cities was 10.65 million tons, a decrease of 12.9% from the same period last year and a decrease of 9.3% from the end of August.

   Six, corporate efficiency maintains a relatively high level. According to statistics from the China Iron and Steel Association, in September, key statistical enterprises achieved operating income of 619.6 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 36.7%; their total profit was 29.36 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 27.7%. From January to September, the cumulative operating income of key statistical enterprises was 5.30 trillion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 42.5%; the total cumulative profit was 319.35 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 123.2%.