Tangshan imposes short-term 50pc iron ore sintering cut
Singapore, 16 April (Argus) — Authorities in Tangshan, China's largest steelmaking city, have told steel mills to reduce iron ore sintering by 50pc until 20 April.
The order, which took effect today, also shuts steel casting facilities for the same period, market participants said.
Pollution levels in north China, including the capital city Beijing, remain quite high for what is normally the non-peak emissions season. This has led authorities to maintain output restrictions in Hebei province, where Tangshan is located.
There are so many environmental restrictions in place in China that mills and traders have become quite numb to them, and the iron ore market no longer reacts sharply to such developments, said the manager of a Hebei-based mill.
Steel mills in Tangshan already have to cut pig iron output by 10pc in the April-November period. Mills in the second-largest steelmaking city in Hebei, Handan, have to cut production by 25pc during this period.
Restrictions on iron ore sintering are likely to be imposed across China in the near term if pollution levels rise, prompting mills to increase purchases of direct-charge material such as imported lump and pellet feed concentrate.