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Wu Wenzhang: Perspectives Toward 2022 Steel Market [SteelHome] 2021-11-11 18:00:43

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China Steel Industry Summit for 2022 Market, hosted by SteelHome, was successfully held in Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, during October 29-31, 2021. This summit was jointly held by Youfa Pipe Group, Maanshan Steel Company, Zhengda Pipe, Nanjing Iron and Steel Group, and Ouyeel Co., Ltd.

Co-hosts were Shanghai Futures Exchange, Dalian Commodity Exchange, China Minmetals Corporation, Xiamen C&D, Tranvic Group, China Railway Material Group, Gtxsteel E-commerce Co., Ltd, Guo Cheng Qing Lan Supply Chain Management, Liuzhou Steel Group, Bayi Steel, Shanxi Yuanhua Logistics.

Over 900 delegates from governments, associations, steel mills, miners, traders, research institutes and media attended the event.

On the morning of October 30, Mr.Wu Wenzhang, Founder and Board Chairman with SteelHome, delivered a keynote speech titled Basic Perspectives Toward 2022 Steel Market.


Mr.Wu Wenzhang, Founder and Board Chairman with SteelHome

Following is summary of his speech:

1 About Supply: Chinese steel consumption in 2022 will fall by 20 million tons from 2021; steel import will be 14.5 million tons, almost flat with 2021. China in the future will import billet and common steel to offset domestic demand. China-produced common steel will face up with competition from overseas suppliers, instead of local mills. Many Chinese mills will gradually lose their position in common steel, pressurized by production cost hike pushed up by environmental protection and carbon emission reductions. China in the future will import common steel, similar to Japan which imports 1/3 of their steel production and exports 2/3 of the volume. The case also happens in South Korea and United States.

2 About Export: China may export 60 million tons of steel in 2022. Based on my understanding, it is reasonable for China to import 100 million tons of steel and export 100 million tons of steel, based on 1 billion tons of production. That is what a big and strong steel producer does. China should export high-quality and high value-added steel products. It is supposed to be the strategic development for China steel industry.

3 About International Market: World economic recovery in 2022 will encounter instabilities and uncertainties. I think that world crude steel production (excluding China) in 2022 will be adding 35 million tons to 1.955 billion tons. The world volume has increased from 2001’s 850 million tons to current 1.9 billion tons, an addition of 1 billion tons among which China contributes 900 million tons, a 90 percent rate in contribution.

4 About Production and Demand: According to SteelHome forecast, Chinese crude steel production in November will fall back to September rate because of winter heating season limitation and reduction policies, and then ramp up in December. Crude steel in 2021 will be 1.05 billion tons.

Chinese economic growth in 2021 will be 8.5 percent at least, accompanied with positive growth in investment and industrial added value, a limited pushup for steel consumption. The only chance for driving steel consumption may lay on foreign trade export.

5 About Steel and Billet Import: It is worthy of note to follow billet import. China imported 18.33 million tons of billet/slab in 2020 and 9.02 million tons of pig iron and DRI. We believe that Chinese billet/slab import will be 10 million tons level. We estimate that Chinese apparent consumption of steel will fall by 3.6 percent in 2021, and keep negative in 2022, at 1.03-1.04 billion tons.

6 Conclusion on Forecast:

1) It is anticipated that Chinese economic growth rate in 2021 will be around 8.5%; and 5-6% in 2022.

2) In 2022, Chinese steel production is expected to be 1.03-1.04 billion tons, down 1-1.9% from 2021; pig iron production to be around 865 million tons, down 1.5%; steel import to be 14.5 million tons, flat with 2021; steel export to be 60 million tons, down 7.5%; billet/slab import to be 16 million tons, up 14.3%; apparent consumption of crude steel to be around 995 million tons, down 1.5%.

3) In 2022, Chinese iron ore import is predicted to be 1.12 billion tons, down 0.6% yoy; Chinese domestic crude iron ore production to be around 1 billion tons, up 1%.

4) In 2021, price of common HR steel products in Shanghai: rebar, 5080 RMB per ton; HRC, 5380 RMB per ton; iron ore (62%) import price, 160 US dollars per ton (CFR). In 2022, steel price in China will fall by 500 RMB per ton from 2021; iron ore import price will fall by 50 dollars per ton.

(To contact the reporter on this story: or 86-21-50585733 15800777957)
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