According to SMM research, on January 31, the blast furnace operating rate was 88.55%, up 0.15% MoM. The blast furnace capacity utilization rate was 89.60%, up 0.16%. The average daily pig iron production of sample steel plants was 2.1438 million mt, up 3,800 mt.
Three blast furnaces were inspected, and four blast furnaces resumed production. Most of the inspections of blast furnaces were routine inspections. Some blast furnaces chose to undergo inspections due to the deepening losses of steel mills. However, overall, as the CNY holiday approaches, the number of inspected blast furnaces still shows a slowdown trend; In addition, the previously overhauled blast furnaces resumed production as planned, the blast furnace operating rate and pig iron production still increased slightly.
The CNY holiday is coming the next week. According to SMM’s current tracking, there are significantly fewer blast furnaces to be overhauled. If the previously suspended blast furnaces resume production as planned, the blast furnace operation and pig iron production will still have an upward trend; but considering the recent rebound in iron ore prices, steel mills profits are under pressure again. Affected by this, the maintenance of blast furnaces may increase, and the increase in pig iron next week may be less than expected.