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Steel Mills Cool Down as Workers Stay Home for Virus Control

By Luo Guoping and Han Wei / Feb 18, 2020 05:04 AM / Business & Tech

Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Nearly 70% of China’s steel refining capacity remained idle as factories have yet to resume production from an extended Lunar New Year holiday because of the deadly coronavirus epidemic.

A survey by industry portal of 3,768 steel companies in China found that as of Sunday only 33% resumed production. Meanwhile, more than 70% of companies recorded declines in orders as the epidemic disrupted business across the country;

Data from the China Iron and Steel Association showed that China’s average daily raw steel production in the first 10 days of February declined 4.11% from a month ago. Meanwhile, steel inventory rose nearly 42% to 18.5 million tons.

Steel companies are facing difficulties including logistics disruption, order declines and inadequate numbers of workers to resume normal operation, according to But as more factories reopen, companies will face new challenges to prevent the virus from spreading in their facilities, it said.

Contact reporter Han Wei (

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