SHANGHAI, Dec 30 (SMM) – According to SMM statistics, 22 steel companies with 43 blast furnaces planned to resume their production from December 20, 2021 to January 10, 22. However, due to environmental protection, the upcoming Winter Olympics and other reasons, the resumption of production has been postponed.
Only 30 blast furnaces will be resumed in January, and the other 13 blast furnaces will not be resumed until after the Winter Olympics or in March. If the 30 blast furnaces are all resumed in January, the pig iron output will increase by about 1.24 million mt/month. The rest 13 blast furnaces may bring the output increase by 974,000 mt/month. Most blast furnaces of which the resumption is postponed are in north China.
Although the specific production restriction measures have not been released, the General Office of Ecology and Environment of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology issued the "Notice on Launching Staggered Production of the Iron and Steel Industry in the Heating Season of 2021-2022 in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and Surrounding Areas." It is clearly mentioned that from January 1, 2022 to March 15, 2022, the steel output in this region should be cut by no less than 30% of the crude steel output in the same period of the previous year. The heavy air pollution warnings were frequent in Hebei, Henan, and Shanxi. Therefore, the production restrictions were stricter in north China.
The production restrictions of steel enterprises will ease after the CNY holiday, especially in south China, but the actual resumption of production is less than expected. The social inventory and in-plant stocks are low currently, and the EAF mills will have holidays earlier, according to SMM survey. Therefore, the actual crude steel supply is expected to far lower than the same period in previous years.