Chinese steelmakers have yet to cut production to reduce
emissions amid the recent severe smog spreading across the
countrys eastern regions.
The Shanghai Bureau of
Environmental Protection released a severe air pollution alert
late Dec. 5, and announced that local government would
implement several urgent measures that include limiting
production and pollutants at industrial enterprises to tackle
By 5 p.m. Dec. 5
Beijing time, the level of airborne particulate matter 2.5
microns (PM 2.5) and less in diameter, which poses the biggest
health risk, reached 235 micrograms per cubic meter, according
to the Bureaus official index.
By Dec. 6, levels had
climbed to 448 micrograms per cubic meter, although unofficial
gauges put the PM 2.5 density as high as 505 micrograms per
Baosteel Group Corp. as of Dec. 6 hadnt been informed
about production restrictions yet, a source in Baosteels
investor relations department told AMM sister
publication Steel First.
Meanwhile, a source
with Nanjing Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. in neighboring Jiangsu
province also told Steel First that he hadnt
heard of any plans to cut production at his mill.
taken place. I think the pollution problem cannot be so easily
solved through a short-term production cut," he said.
Nanjing is among one
of the most polluted cities in China. Nanjing Iron & Steel
and Meishan Iron & Steel Co. Ltd. could be asked to limit
production if the heavy smog continues, according to local
media reports late Dec. 5.
"No mill has been
involved in emission reduction to tackle the smog so far as I
know. I dont think the steel industry should be blamed
too much, as the major air polluters are power generators and
petrochemical plants," a Beijing-based analyst said.
Nevertheless, trading activities in the eastern Chinese
market have been hampered, as severe smog has disrupted
transportation and caused a further lack of momentum in spot
prices, according to market sources.
A version of this
article was first published in AMM sister publication Steel