September 25, 2017, 3:32 am
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China steel output at record high

BEIJING- China’s steel output rose 5.7 percent in June to a record 73.23 million tons, data showed on Monday, as mills in the world’s top producer ramp up production due to fat profits from rallying prices.

The numbers come amid a trade dispute with the United States, which says China has flooded international markets with cheap Aluminum and steel.

June’s total surpassed April’s monthly record of 72.78 million tons, fuelling worries of a growing glut.

In the first half of this year, steel output totaled 419.75 million tons, up 4.6 percent from the same period in 2016, data from the National Statistics Bureau showed.

Meanwhile, China’s Aluminum production rose 7.4 percent year-on-year in June to its highest level on records back to 2014.

Steel rebar margins were almost 1,000 yuan ($147.77) per ton in June, enticing mills to increase output, said Bai Jing, analyst at Galaxy Futures.

“China’s crackdown on low-end steel has left a capacity gap in the market,” she said.

Stocks of rebar held by Chinese traders hit a six-month low on Friday, at 370.4 million tons, data from SteelHome consultants showed.

China eliminated around 120 million tons of low-end steel capacity in the first six months of this year.
 The country’s factory output grew 7.6 percent in June from a year earlier, while fixed-asset investment expanded 8.6 percent in the first half of this year, both beating forecasts.

“The market used to hold a gloomy outlook on China’s economy and expect weak demand in the property and infrastructure sectors. Now the new data proved these ideas to be wrong and helped to boost market confidence,” said Bai Jing, analyst at Galaxy Futures.

The most-active iron ore futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange had risen 2.7 percent to 492.5 yuan ($72.76) a ton by midday, after hitting their highest in 8 weeks at 492.5 yuan a ton.

Stockpiles of imported iron ore at ports increased 400,000 tons to 139.7 million tons on Monday, according to data compiled by SteelHome consultancy.

“Despite the high iron ore stocks, demand for high-quality iron ore remains firm, as mills who use blast furnaces require more high-end raw material,” said Bai.

The most-traded rebar futures on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained 1.9 percent to 3,646 yuan a ton.

China’s steel output rose 5.7 percent in June to a record 73.23 million tons, data from the National Statistics Bureau showed on Monday 
Stocks of rebar held by Chinese traders dropped 1 percent to 370.4 million tons, the lowest since Dec,2016, the data from SteelHome showed.

Spot rebar prices dropped less than 0.1 percent to 3,891.4 yuan a ton on Friday, according to data on the website of Mysteel Consultancy. – Reuters 

 
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