Chinese Steel Output Slowed Down in 2014

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Cold-rolled steel

Data released last night showed Chinese steel output grew at its slowest rate in more than three decades in 2014 because of slowing economic growth and a government clampdown on pollution.

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While output reached a record 822.7 million tons last year, it rose just 0.9%, the slowest pace of growth since 1981, according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

Chinese steel production has grown at breakneck speed over the past decade, but this has led to chronic overcapacity and pollution in the key producing areas around Beijing.

Closing at CNY 2,560 ($411.75) per metric ton on Tuesday, January 20, Chinese slab saw the biggest change at a 2.7%. The price of Chinese HRC reached a 30-day low after decreasing 0.4% to CNY 2,800 ($450.35) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese coking coal held flat at CNY 1,080 ($173.71) per metric ton. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($135.10) and a low price of CNY 840.00 ($135.10) per dry metric ton.

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For the fifth day in a row, the steel billet cash price remained essentially flat on the LME at $500.00 per metric ton. The 3-month price of steel billet continues hovering around $480.00 per metric ton on the LME for the fifth day in a row.

The US HRC futures contract 3-month price held steady around $580.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract spot price saw little movement on Tuesday at $590.00 per short ton.

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