China’s steel production and consumption at an all time high
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China produced 72Mt of crude steel in March according to the National Bureau of Statistics, up 1.8% YoY and a new all time high. China produced 201Mt of crude steel in Q1-17, up 5.5% YoY ( in annualized terms). This was the second highest Q1 production on record, about 5% lower than in Q1-14.
If we adjust the NBS crude steel production figure for March with net exports of 6.3Mt (graph 2) and changes in steel inventory (graph 3) we end up with China’s real steel consumption in March of 67.2Mt (graph 4), which is up 3.1% YoY and a new all time high, marginally higher than the previous highs from the March to May period in 2014. China’s Real Steel Consumption in Q1 as a whole was up an impressive 8% from the same period last year, but still down close to 6% from the all time high in Q1-14.
Klaveness Research says:
The steel production growth in China has been accelerating since March 2016 and the YoY growth in China’s real steel consumption has accelerated since August 2016. We expect the growth in both steel production and real steel consumption to continue in Q2 but at a lower rate. The main reason is that the base from Q2-16 last year is a lot higher than in Q1-16 last year.