China's coke consumption is likely to exceed 300 mln tons in 2009, exceeding a prior forecast, the official China Securities Journal said on Thursday, quoting the chairman of the China Coking Industry Association.
China's demand for coke, a key ingredient in steel production, would fall to 280 mln to 290 mln tons, down 9 to 12.5 percent from a year earlier, the association had forecast earlier this year.
But higher-than-expected growth in the steel sector improved outlook for coke consumption. If steel production growth is maintained in May and June, total coke consumption will surpass 300 mln tons, the paper quoted association chairman Huang Jingan as saying.
China, the world's largest steel maker, churned out 45.39 mln tons of crude steel, equivalent to an annual production of 552.2 mln tons, more than 10 percent above 2008 output of 500 mln tons, state media reported.
China produced 126 mln tons of coke in the first five months of the year, down 7.4 percent on year, the National Bureau of Statistics said.
The bureau is expected to release steel and coke output data for June on Friday.