China’s finished steel exports tumble in May

By IM Staff
Published: Tuesday, 09 July 2019

China’s exports of finished steel in May fell back from the high prices earlier in the year when seasonal demand recovered.

China’s finished steel exports fell in May 2019, both year-on-year as well as when compared with the preceding month.

The country shipped 5.74 million tonnes of finished steel abroad in the month, down by 16.5% from a year earlier, according to preliminary Chinese customs data released on June 10.

The month’s exports were also 9.22% lower than April’s 6.33 million tonnes.

May’s lower exports were mainly due to high prices in March and early April - when transactions for these shipments were mostly concluded - amid a seasonal recovery of demand. Chinese steel products became less competitive in the export market during that period.

For instance, the Fastmarkets’ steel hot-rolled coil (HRC) index, export, fob main port China, fluctuated in the range of $519.50-538.25 per tonne over March 1-April 15, while the assessment for steel, HRC export, fob Black Sea, CIS, fell gradually to $485-495 per tonne fob on April 15, from $520-530 per tonne in early March.

China’s finished steel exports over the first five months of 2019 totaled 29.09 million tonnes, up by 2.5% year-on-year, according to the country’s customs agency.