China’s Steel Imports Hit A New High In Recent Years, Showing A Year-On-Year Increase Of Nearly 160%

March 15 15:26 2021

In the past month, China’s steel imports hit a record high in recent years, showing a year-on-year increase of nearly 160%.

According to data released by the General Administration of Customs, in September 2020, my country exported 3.828 million tons of steel, an increase of 4.1% from the previous month, and a decrease of 28.2% from the same period last year. From January to September, my country’s cumulative export of steel was 40.385 million tons, a year-on-year decrease of 19.6%. In September, my country imported 2.885 million tons of steel, a month-on-month increase of 22.8% and a year-on-year increase of 159.2%; from January to September, my country’s cumulative steel imports were 15.073 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 72.2%.

According to calculations by the Lange Steel Research Center, in September, the average export price of steel in my country was US$908.9/ton, an increase of US$5.4/ton from the previous month, and the average import price was US$689.1/ton, a decrease of US$29.4/ton from the previous month. The export price gap widened to US$219.9/ton, which is the fourth consecutive month of inverted import and export prices.

Industry analysts believe that this phenomenon of inverted import and export prices is one of the main reasons for the sharp increase in steel imports in recent months, and strong domestic demand constitutes the driving force behind my country’s steel imports.

Although China is still the region with the best recovery in global manufacturing, data show that global manufacturing is also showing signs of recovery. According to data released by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, the global manufacturing PMI in September was 52.9%, up 0.4% from the previous month, and remained above 50% for three consecutive months. The manufacturing PMI of all regions remained above 50%.

On October 13, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued a report, raising the global economic growth forecast for this year to -4.4%. Despite the negative growth forecast, in June this year, the organization also predicted the global economic growth rate of -5.2%.

The economic recovery will drive the improvement of steel demand. According to the CRU (British Commodity Research Institute) report, affected by the epidemic and other factors, a total of 72 blast furnaces worldwide will be idled or closed in 2020, involving 132 million tons of crude steel production capacity. The gradual restart of overseas blast furnaces has gradually brought global crude steel production back up. In August, the crude steel output of 64 countries as calculated by the World Steel Association was 156.2 million tons, an increase of 103.5 million tons from July. Among them, the output of crude steel outside of China was 61.4 million tons, an increase of 20.21 million tons from July.

Lange Steel.com analyst Wang Jing believes that as the international steel market continues to pick up, steel export quotations in some countries have begun to rise, which will restrain China’s subsequent steel imports and at the same time, the competitiveness of exports will rise.

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