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Low-carbon processes characterize steel industry growth

By Liu Zhihua | | Updated: 2020-09-28 11:24
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A worker at a steel plant in Dalian, Liaoning province. [Photo by Liu Debin/For China Daily]

Increasing steel demand from downstream industries is shoring up the healthy development of China's steel industry, and adaption to ultra-low emissions also plays an important role in the industry's high-quality development, according to industry experts and officials.

The steel industry registered a higher level of profits in June, July and August when compared with the same period last year, with sales margins all above 5 percent in the past three months. However, industry profits dropped 18.64 percent from January to August year-on-year, according to He Wenbo, executive chairman of the China Iron and Steel Association.

He made the remarks at a forum on the industry's energy efficiency and low-carbon development in Beijing, held from Friday to Saturday by the China Metallurgical Industry Planning and Research Institute.

China produced 94.85 million metric tons of crude steel in August, increasing 8.4 percent year-on-year. Crude steel output in the first eight months hit 689 million tons, increasing 3.7 percent, statistics from CISA showed.

The rise in steel output was mostly due to increased demand, thanks to China's strong economic recovery.

Due to the huge differences in the coronavirus response and economic recovery between China and other major economies, as well as the differences in the utilization of electric furnaces and scrap steel in steel industry, China's crude steel production took up 58 percent of the world's total for the first eight months, while in 2019 the country's crude steel output accounted for 53.3 percent of the global output the whole year.

The country's production of iron accounted for 68 percent of the world's total from January to August, while iron core imports, at 760 million tons, took up 71 percent of global exports, up 11 percent on a yearly basis.

He also stressed the rise of the figures above is temporary, and is changing as the rest of the world is getting COVID-19 under control.

Liu Bingjiang, head of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment's air quality management department, said the higher than expected achievements in cutting excessive capacity, reducing process emissions and ultra-low emission transformation of the industry had offset the increased carbon emissions due to growth in crude steel output in the first eight months.

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