In the first quarter of 2020, the operation of the steel industry was greatly impacted by the covid-19 epidemic. Specific features:
First, the growth rate of production declined significantly. In the first quarter, the added value of ferrous metal smelting and rolling industries increased by 0.5% year on year, down 7.4 percentage points from the same period last year. Pig iron and crude steel were 199 million tons and 234 million tons, up 2.4% and 1.2% respectively, or 6.9 and 8.7 percentage points less than the same period last year. Steel production, in particular, was 267m tonnes, down 1.6 per cent year on year, compared with a 10.8 per cent increase in the same period last year.
Second, the price of steel fell significantly. In the first quarter, China's steel price index averaged 102.29 points, down 5.0% year on year. Among them: the average price index of long wood is 107.2 points, down 5.6% year on year; the average price index of plate is 99.3 points, down 4.5% year on year.
Third, the economic efficiency declined sharply. According to statistics from China iron and steel association, in the first quarter, the operating income of key large and medium-sized iron and steel enterprises was 9500.92 billion yuan, down 5.31% year on year. Total profits reached 18.322 billion yuan, down 50.84 percent year on year.
Fourth, exports declined and imports increased. According to the statistics of the general administration of customs, in the first quarter, a total of 14.286 million tons of steel were exported, down 16.0% year on year. A total of 3.178 million tons of imported steel, up 9.7% year on year.
Fifth, high iron ore prices shock. China's iron ore price index (CIOPI) averaged 327.2 in the first quarter, up 35 points, or 12.0 per cent, from a year earlier, and down 3.7 points, or 1.1 per cent, from December.
Sixth, investment in fixed assets declined slightly. Investment in fixed assets in ferrous metal smelting and rolling industries fell 1.2 percent in the first quarter, compared with a 30.6 percent increase in the same period last year.
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