China-based Rizhao’s Shanxi Iron and Steel Group has ramped up production of Cold-Rolled Steel Coils (CRC) to expedite exports. Recently, the company shipped 7,000mt of CRC to Hong Kong, overcoming logistics and customs clearance difficulties amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
Demand for steel in January and February had dipped significantly as China remained under a lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19. Production through blast furnaces, however, continued in the period. As a result, China’s inventories are expected to cross the 100mn mt mark by March 31.
Earlier, during the lockdown in China, Rizhao was affected by the epidemic control measures implemented by many countries for Chinese ships docking at their ports. Many contracts were cancelled.
With industries in China resuming operations, the country now looks to give seaborne trades a boost. China has temporarily waived off port construction charges levied on importers and exporters to bring down transportation costs and speed up foreign trade which has derailed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the Beijing government has hiked export rebates to 13pc from 10pc on cold-rolled steel.