In the period from Jan- July this year , China exported 45m tonnes of steel, 80% up from 25m tonnes over the same period last year and equivalent to total exports in 2006. (Compare with exports of 5.7 Mn. tonnes in '02 and 7 Mn. tonnes in '03) .
China overhauled Japan as the world's biggest iron ore importer in 2003 - their biggest supplier, Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (NYSE: RIO, $48.32 a share), the world's No 2 mining company, after BHP Billiton (BLT.L, £13.78), has gained more than $10 a share in the past five or so trading sessions, adding around $25bn to its market capitalisation of approx US$116 Bn. George Soros has a very substantial holding and this represents the biggest investment (16%) of his funds. His initial buy was at around US$25 to US$32 on March 31, 2006 . Soros increased his position by 1400% in December of the same year at a price of US$21 to US$20 per share.
The China National Development and Reform Commission has recently announced that blast furnaces smaller than 300 cubic meters used to produce nickel pig iron, will be shut. This equates to some 2 Mn. tones of production. This move is to save energy in outdated plants and is claimed is a move to protect the environment and conserve energy.
This must be considered against world steel production - click on chart for more detail - The Arcelor-Mittal merger formed a global giant accounting for 118 million tonnes or just under 10% of world production. The newly crated Corus-Tata group will become the world's sixth largest steelmaker.
Chinese Aluminium product exports rose by 88% cent to 1.18m tonnes in the first 6 months of this year