China’s crude steel output fell 3.3% in June from a year earlier, statistics bureau data showed, as severe weather in recent weeks hit construction activity.
The world’s largest steel producer produced 90.73 million tonnes of metal last month, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Friday.
That was down 6% from May’s 96.61 million tonnes.
Average daily production in June was 3.02 million tonnes, according to a Reuters analysis of NBS data. This compares to 3.12 million tonnes of daily production in May.
China has been experiencing extreme weather since June, with heat waves in northern and central China bringing temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius while heavy rains caused flooding in the south.
Several steel mills in China, the world’s top steel producer, also idled production facilities or put them on maintenance earlier than usual due to low margins and high inventories.
China’s iron ore imports in June were also down from a year earlier, albeit modestly, due to weaker demand from the steel industry.
“Although the weather disruptions have exaggerated what is a typical decline in June, the underlying trend in Chinese steel production remains positive,” said Alistair Ramsay, vice president of Rystad Energy Metals, ahead of the release of the figures. statistics office data.
“We expect steel production to regain its upward momentum in the third quarter to reach 276.65 million tonnes before policymakers stress out and steelmakers retreat. Production will fall to 261.74 million tonnes in fourth trimester.”
In the first half of 2022, China produced 526.8 million tonnes of steel, down 6.5 percent from the same period a year ago, the statistics bureau said.