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China’s crude stainless steel output up 8.5% in January-September - Asociación Nacional de Fabricantes de Productos Refractarios, Materiales y Servicios Afines

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China’s crude stainless steel output up 8.5% in January-September

China’s crude stainless steel output increased in the first nine months of 2018 amid higher prices and healthy profit.

By Jessica Zong
Stainless steelmakers in China produced 20.75 million tonnes of crude stainless steel during the period, up 8.5% from an adjusted 19.12 million tonnes from January to September in 2017, according to data released by the China Stainless Steel Council late on Monday October 29.

The output for 300-series crude stainless steel totaled 9.38 million tonnes, down 2.8% from an adjusted 9.65 million tonnes in the corresponding period of last year.

For 200-series crude stainless steel, output in the first nine months of this year was recorded at 7.12 million tonnes, up 24.2% from an adjusted 5.73 million tonnes a year earlier.

Mills produced 4.13 million tonnes of 400-series crude stainless steel during the January-September period, up 12.7% from an adjusted 3.66 million tonnes in the same period of last year.

A total of 114,449 tonnes of duplex stainless steel was also produced in the first nine months of this year, up 62.12% from an adjusted 70,595 tonnes a year earlier.

The council estimated that China’s apparent stainless steel consumption was 16.46 million tonnes in the January-September period, up 9.5% from an adjusted 15.03 million tonnes in the corresponding period of 2017.

Stainless steel prices in China in the first three quarters of this year were comparatively higher than last year on environmental inspections and higher prices for raw materials such as nickel pig iron. This allowed mills to maintain healthy profit margins, which in turn resulted in a rise in output, market sources said.

Prices for 304 stainless cold-rolled coil in China’s domestic market averaged 15,181 yuan ($2,182) per tonne in the first nine months of this year, up 239 yuan per tonne from 14,942 yuan per tonne a year earlier, according to Fastmarkets MB’s price archive.

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