Hubei steel sector starts to resume amid easing epidemic, demand set to recover

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/3/24 21:48:41

A worker polishes steel ring in Wandekai Composites Co in Hangzhou, East China's Zhejiang Province, on Monday. Photo: cnsphotos

The steel industry and major construction projects in Central China's Hubei Province have been resuming activity as the province has seen an easing epidemic situation. Experts said it would be a confidence boost for the industrial recovery and forecast that demand for iron and steel will see a recovery.

As the transport restrictions across China have been gradually lifted, Hubei Xinyegang Steel Co brought its first batch of 52 staff back to Hubei from Shanghai on March 18 by chartered buses. A total of 116 out of 270 staff for a Xinyegang blast furnace project have returned to their positions and another 50 are processing procedures to get the necessary permission, according to a report by industrial news site on Monday.

Xinyegang is a leading enterprise in China for national key steel production, offering products for the military industry, national major projects and for exports. It also provides key raw materials for epidemic prevention medical equipment, said the report.

Meanwhile, large-scale projects are also resuming in Hubei.

The Hubei phase of the 287.2-kilometer Zhengzhou-Wanzhou High-Speed Railway restarted on Monday, with 244 management personnel and 669 construction workers in position, according to reports.

Also, a large construction project in Shiyan, Hubei by China 19th Metallurgical Co has also resumed construction, read an online statement from China Metallurgical Group (MCC Group).

Shiyan, dubbed "auto city" or "the oriental Detroit," reported it had a total of 672 confirmed infections of COVID-19 as of the end of Monday and all cases in the city including confirmed, suspected and hospitalized have already decreased to zero.

China 19th Metallurgical Co's four other projects in Hubei are all steadily preparing for the resumption, it said.

"The recovery of Hubei's iron and steel industry and related sectors will offer a huge confidence boost for the production resumption of the nation," Wang Guoqing, research director at the Beijing Lange Steel Information Research Center, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Hubei's gradual recovery also could further promote the comprehensive resumption of the country's logistics system, Wang said.

Though the iron and steel industry is still under pressure, demand is expected to see an increase in the second quarter, she forecast.

Global Times


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