CITIC Securities analysts on Jan. 20 stated that “Steel production (curbs) this year could be relaxed pending market conditions, but overall output is still expected to drop amid government controls.”
According to Reuters, Chinese authorities have ordered steel factories around Beijing to reduce production until mid-March 2022 for the Winter Olympics.
Last year, steel output in China also shrunk as the regime imposed measures to achieve environmental targets. It had demanded a yearly reduction in energy consumption for producing the material. The industry accounts for around 15% of the total gas emission in China.
In 2021, crude steel output in Hebei province, the most paramount world steelmaker, fell 9.9% from the previous year. China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported that they only made 225 million tonnes of metal that year. Likewise, steel from Hebei still accounted for more than a fifth of the country’s overall output, down 3% to 1.03 billion tonnes from a peak in 2020.
In recent months, Hebei’s steel hub Tangshan has been urged to cut down production after more pollution alarms were sounded.
Besides Hebei, production in Jiangsu and Shandong provinces also decreased last year, respectively by 1.5% and 4.3%.
In contrast, manufacturers outside the smog-blanketed area saw increased operations in 2021. That includes those in central Hubei province and some southern regions with new factories relocated there in recent years.
Official data showed steel output in the Guangxi autonomous region increased by 6% to 36.6 million tonnes last year, becoming the seventh producer nationally, rising from tenth.