NEW YORK A leading independent Chinese steel producer, General Steel Holdings Inc., is expanding its rebar rolling production to meet demand from the countrys less-developed provinces.
The installation of an additional line at the companys main manufacturing facility in Chinas Shaanxi province will increase the plants rebar capacity to 3.3 million tonnes per year by late 2013 from 2.1 million tonnes currently. The company expects the continuous rolling line to reduce rebar production costs by up to 70 yuan ($11.25) per tonne by eliminating intermediate and reheating costs.
The large cities on Chinas eastern coast have already seen massive infrastructure development, and the focus of Chinese government funding has shifted to western China, a company spokeswoman told AMM. "The big cities already have infrastructure, and real estate is pretty mature," she said. "(But) we still see high demand for western China. This is still the area that still needs infrastructure and some housing."
General Steel is listed on the New York Stock Exchange but does not export steel to the United States, in part due to strong Chinese demand but also because of import duties on rebar, which are up for review by the U.S. International Trade Commission in April.
The Chinese market is still healthy, the company said, despite long-term prognoses that Chinese demand will weaken (amm.com, Feb. 20).
"We believe that our geographic location in Chinas western region continues to provide us strong competitive advantages, and we have set sustainable growth and profitability as our top priority," General Steel chairman and chief executive officer Henry Yu said in a statement. "We were glad to see an improving trend for Chinas steel industry in late 2012, which provides us with cautious optimism for 2013."