According to the latest statistics from the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC), released on September 7, China exported 36.6 million tons of steel products from January to August this year. The eight-month decline of 18.6% year-on-year was sharper than the 17.6% year-on-year decline from January-July, Mysteel Global said.
According to customs data, in August alone, China’s total steel exports reached 3.68 million tonnes, updating the minimum since January 2013.
Record-low volumes of steel shipped abroad last month were driven by sluggish export trade in June, when steel prices in China were sharply higher than global peers. By that time, China was the only major economy whose steel demand had recovered to pre-COVID-19 levels, leading to stronger domestic prices, while steel consumption abroad, especially in some Asian countries, was just starting to recover as Mysteel Global time reports.
“Export orders in May and June were still low. Sales have only started to recover since July, ”said a Shanghai-based analyst, noting that low volumes in August are expected.
In early June, Chinese hot rolled steel exporters did not give in to lower their export prices to below $ 440 per tonne on FOB China terms, but at about the same time the corresponding product sold to China was selling at a lower price of $ 425-435 per tonne CFR China. as reported by Mysteel Global.
The sharp price gap between Chinese steel and steel from overseas plants has allowed many Chinese traders and even manufacturers to buy these foreign-made steel products and resell them in China.
Inevitably, steel imports from China remained high last month. Imports of finished steel stood at 2.24 million tonnes in August, just slightly below the record monthly high of 2.6 million tonnes in July.
According to the latest GACC statistics, steel imports for January-August totaled 12.2 million tonnes, up 59.6% year-on-year and more than 49% growth in the first seven months of this year. [: ]