China: The rise of the private steel sector

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Report summary

Government policy inadvertently created rapid capacity growth in the Chinese steel industry.  The introduction of a minimum size threshold led to a refurbishment programme in Tangshan's private steel sector in which small blast furnaces were replaced with much larger ones to avoid being shut down. Wood Mackenzie recently visited seven privately owned Tangshan steel plants where capacity has more than double since 2007 – something representative of the region. In contrast to state-owned...

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Table of contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Tangshan’s capacity increases driven by privately owned plants
  • Government policy led to upgrades
  • Not all privately owned steel plants are high cost
  • Private sector increasingly pivotal in the Chinese steel industry

Tables and charts

This report includes 7 images and tables including:


  • Tangshan region
  • Most of the Tangshan plants visited have doubled iron making capacity
  • Some private steel plants are operating in the bottom quartile of the Chinese cost curve
  • Weighted average iron making C1 cash cost for private and SOE plants (US$/tonne, 2012)
  • Distribution of BF size
  • BF coke quality requirements


  • Examples of blast furnace size upgrade

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