Texture from Reuters:
“While Tangshan cities are facing production curbs to reduce pollution, other steel plants are reported to increase their production because of attractive profitability,” Argonaut Securities said in a note.
China’s top steelmaking province of Hebei had implemented overnight inspections on illegal industrial works and emissions as an effort to crack down pollution, according to state-backed People’s Daily.
But the anti-pollution plan for this autumn-winter heating season in northern China is still not enough to offset last year’s sharp increase, official data showed.
This is a furphy to my mind. The drivers of price now are softening demand versus year end restocking. The year end restocking event is very reliable but it does occasionally give way if underlying conditions are bad enough.
My assessment at this juncture is that despite weakening demand it is not soft enough to derail a decent restock. So I’d expect prices to be firm through new year to February now.
To the charts:
Spot stable. Paper up overnight. Steel still looks vulnerable. We shall see.