China’s crude steel production fell 1.7% year on year (y/y) to 200.1 million tonnes in the first three months of 2015, making the first quarterly decline in recent years.
For irons, the national production also dropped 2.3% y/y to 176.5 million tonnes, with the steel production up 2.5% y/y to 266.4 million tonnes, a statement of China Iron and Steel Association said on 29 April.
The iron ore imports grew 2.3% y/y to 227 million tonnes, with the imports spiking 18.5% in March from February.
In addition, the country’s steel exports jumped 40.7% y/y to 25.8 million tonnes in the first three months of 2015. The association predicted the export growth will lose momentum in the first half of 2015 due to withdrawal of export duty refunds on steels early this year and increasing trade disputes that Chinese steel mills encounter in the international market.
The mid- to large-sized steel mills in China surveyed by the association saw their operating loss rise 45.1% y/y to an aggregate of CNY11.1 billion (USD1.79 billion) during the first three months. The revenue of the mills fell 14.5% y/y to CNY762.9 billion during the same period.