Goldman Sachs: For raw materials like iron ore, “the market has not fully priced the negative impact” of China’s environmental restrictions. | Image courtesy: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg
The supply of metals in the top producing nation has already been affected this year by the closure of unapproved or outdated plants, and as the government ratchets up its safety and environmental oversight. In advance of the production curbs over the most-polluting months of November to March, the nation’s biggest steel hub, Tangshan city, on Monday shuttered half its iron ore processing plants as an emergency measure to avoid dangerous pollution levels. The order comes ahead of a high-profile political gathering in nearby Beijing in October.
The policy risks include disruptions to steel demand as well as supply. On Tuesday, Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, said it’ll suspend construction of buildings, roads and water facilities during the winter to fight pollution. The city also confirmed it would follow government orders applying to 28 conurbations in northern China and cut steel capacity by half and aluminum and alumina capacity by around a third over the period.