China's steel prices pick up, but big rises unlikely industry group

BEIJING - China's steel prices have begun to rise, but an industry group tried to calm the market Tuesday, saying the increase will be limited as new production capacity is set to ease supply.The steel price index climbed to this year's peak of 106.49 at the end of July, lifted by higher iron ore costs, improved demand as well as lower supply due to government policies to cut steel overcapacity and enhance environmental protection, China Iron and Steel Association (CISA) said on its website.

The country's crude steel output rose 5.1 percent year on year to 492 million tons in the first seven months this year, while apparent consumption of crude steel increased 10.9 percent to 450 million tons, according to CISA data.Although production restrictions amid tighter enforcement of environmental rules during the winter heating season will cap supply in the coming months, expanding competitive capacity will help contain large price rises, the CISA said.

China has been striving to close small mills that churn out low-quality steel made from scrap metal, this year, leading to decreased supply.The crackdown on the small low-end furnaces, accounting for 4 percent of total steel output, came as Beijing aims to cut excess capacity, tackle pollution and improve safety measures at these mills.

The seventh round strict air pollution inspection completed

BEIJING, Jul. 23 (CENEWS)-The seventh round of the yearlong strict inspection on air pollution control had been completed by Jul. 20. Between Jul. 7 and Jul. 20, the inspection teams checked a total of 5,322 businesses (organizations), and found environmental incompliances in 1,389 of them. Of the incompliant enterprises, 347 were unlicensed small polluters, two did not attain emission standards, 252 failed to install pollution control facilities, 160 failed to keep such facilities in normal operations, 536 had VOCs control problems, and four had other problems.

The inspection results showed VOCs control was the primary pollution problem, which accounted for 38.6 percent of the total problems revealed by this round of inspection. Tangshan Municipality is the home to 54 VOCs emitters, the largest number in the 28 target cities. From the industrial perspective, the rubber and plastics manufacturing, machinery manufacturing, coating and spraying, plywood, packaging and printing industries contributed the largest share of VOCs emission.

There were 347 unlicensed small polluters which violated the environmental legislations, accounting for 25.0 percent of the total incompliant enterprises. The fugitive emission was serious. Starting Jul. 21, the inspection team launched the eighth round strict inspection over the air pollution in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei-ZheJiang region and surrounding areas.

On the sidelines of the eighth strict inspection, the Ministry is about to initiate six rounds thematic inspection in Hebei, ZheJiang and Henan on their performance in the implementation of the detailed plans for implementing the action plan against air pollution. The thematic inspection, which will last for 84 days,  with each city under the scrutiny of an inspection team.

The Ministry required that the inspection teams touring Hebei, ZheJiang and Henan provinces strengthen the inspection and urge the local governments and relevant departments at all levels to take the responsibilities for air pollution control and make sure the tasks specified in the local plans for fighting air pollution to be completed before deadlines.