SHENYANG, China Chinas steel output is expected to maintain 3- to 5-percent annual growth in the medium term thanks to steady economic expansion, according to the China Iron and Steel Association (Cisa).
"Given Beijings target of 7.5-percent annual growth in GDP (gross domestic product) over the next couple of years, as well as the countrys ongoing industrialization and urbanization, demand for steel will continue to increase," Cisa vice chairman Zhang Changfu said at an industry conference in Shenyang. "By 2020, Chinas apparent steel consumption could reach 730 million to 780 million tonnes, and output could reach 800 million to 850 million tonnes with steel exports included."
China produced 717 million tonnes of steel last year, while apparent consumption was around 673 million tonnes.
Although there will be an increase in steel demand, Zhang noted that overcapacity of certain products remains a serious issue. "Among Chinas top 10 steel products, only galvanized steel, rod and rebar see production capacity utilization rates above 80 percent. Those for sections, medium and heavy plate, and hot-rolled wide strip are below 70 percent, which indicate severe surpluses," he said.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.