Strong semis imports in June make China net steel importer

Tuesday, 28 July 2020 15:25:20 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

According to reports from the local press, China imported 2.48 million mt of semi-finished products in June, one of the record monthly volumes this year. If we add this amount to finished steel imports of 1.88 million mt, total shipments of foreign steel to China reached 4.36 million mt in June. As a result, China became a net steel importer as its total exports of steel (all finished steel) amounted to 3.7 million mt during the month.

Active buying of billet and slabs from abroad was supported by strong demand in the local market in China and the price difference with the international market. Sources mentioned that finished products, HRC especially, were also in demand, which pushed finished steel shipments to the country up by 46.7 percent month on month in June.

Most market insiders said that total imports of steel to China will remain strong in the July-September quarter. The future outlook is not so clear. “We can say that imports will slow down in the coming days. It’s too early to think about the end of the year,” one source said. “In general, the Chinese market [consumption] is strong, so purchases may continue,” another source said.

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