According to the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS), Hebei province in northern China produced 121.5 million tons of steel in the first half of the year, maintaining its position as the largest steel-producing province in China. However, between January and June, Hebei was also the only province /region in the top ten where production actually declined from last year, the data showed.
Hebei’s contribution to total crude steel production in the country declined from 23.7% for the full year of 2020 to 21.6% in the first half of this year, due to a 0.8% year-on-year decline from an increase in other provinces. regions.
Hebei’s recession was fueled by tight restrictions on factories in Tangshan, China’s largest steelmaking city located in Hebei. Since late March, steelmakers in Tangshan have been asked to comply with 30% or 50% production restrictions as part of the city government’s measures to tackle a longstanding problem of serious air pollution.
What’s more, steel mills in Tangshan and other Hebei cities were required to store all blast furnaces for several days from late June in preparation for celebrating in neighboring Beijing the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party on July 1. as reported by Mysteel Global.
Thus, in June alone, steel production in Hebei fell by 17.4% compared to the same period last year to 18.3 million tons, according to NBS data.
After Hebei, Jiangsu and Shandong remained the second and third largest steel-producing provinces in the country. In six months, steel production increased by 12.8% and 17% year-on-year to 63.6 million tonnes and 45.3 million tonnes, respectively.
Notably, NBS data clearly show that crude steel production in Hubei province, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak at the end of January last year, has fully recovered. In fact, the data shows that an 18.7% year-on-year production growth has allowed Hubei Province to surpass Anhui once again and regain its position as China’s sixth-largest steel-producing province.
In the first half of the year, double-digit growth in crude steel production was seen in most of the 31 provinces /municipalities /regions monitored by NBS. Market insiders suggest the table could be a good indicator of how severe the production cuts could be in each province in this half, given that China intends to cap crude steel production this year from last year.
“Each province (region) will have a single goal – to ensure a decrease in crude steel production on an annualized basis, so for those who saw higher growth (production) in the first half of the year, there will be stricter restrictions in the second half of the year,” says Steel the manufacturer commented on the analyst.