China’s stainless steel output increased to 8.168mn mt in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021, up by 36.4pc or 2.179mn mt from the prior year amid a rise in apparent consumption, according to China Special Steel Enterprises Association’s data.
The country’s apparent consumption of stainless steel in Q1 was 7.064mn mt, up by 46.5pc or 2.244mn mt from the prior-year quarter.
Production of Cr-Ni series SS rose to 3.463mn mt, up by 13.9pc or 481,000mt from the prior year. The output of Cr-Mn series SS was 2.84mn mt, up by 40.6pc from the prior-year quarter, while the output of Cr SS rose to 1.808mn mt, up by 29.47pc. Duplex stainless steel production was 53,727mt, an increase of 18.9pc from the prior-year quarter.
China’s SS exports in Q1 was 870,700mt, up by 7.49pc or 60,700mt from the prior year, while SS imports rose to 542,800mt, up by 157.74pc or 332,200mt from the prior year. Imports are expected to increase further given the rollback of import duties applicable on exports from non-ASEAN countries, while exports are likely to drop in the upcoming quarters as the Chinese government has cancelled the rebates offered on steel exports. Much of this action is to reduce steel overcapacity and pollution in China and to control domestic steel prices by making exports unattractive.