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China’s Jan-Nov steel exports dip faster by 6.5% on year

China’s steel exports totalled 59.7 million tonnes over the January-November, down 6.5% on year, according to the latest statistics released by China’s General Administration of Customs on December 8, with the decline being steeper than 5.8% year-on-year drop over January-October, as better domestic steel sales than exports in November, Mysteel Global has learned. 
Last month, China exported 4.6 million tonnes of finished steel, down 4.3% on month or 13.6% on year, according to the official statistics, with the export volume mainly to fulfil the orders booked in September-October that were low, as “in September, global steel prices were comparatively lower than China’s domestic steel prices though Chinese traders lowered their offers,” a Shanghai-based steel analyst commented.

A steel trader in East China’s Jiangsu province agreed, admitting that it was more about lack of pricing competitiveness than weakening global demand. 

“The situation is getting worse and our steel exports for December may very likely dip further from November, as the strengthening in the domestic HRC price in November had forced export prices to grow, and as of late November, our HRC offering price rose over $10/t from the previous month,” he said. 

Mysteel’s export offering for SS400 grade 4.75mm HRC was reported at $454/t FOB Bayuquan in Northeast China’s Liaoning province as of December 6, up from $435/t as of November 8, as Mysteel Global reported.

A Beijing-based steel analyst, thus, predicted that “it seems that China’s 2019 steel exports may cap at 65 million tonnes, and next year’s steel exports may fall below 60 million tonnes”.

As for steel imports, China bought 10.8 million tonnes of finished steel over January-November, down 11% on year and the tonnage for November alone grew 1.7% on month but declined 8.4% on year to about 1 million tonnes, according to the statistics.

China imports about 10 million tonnes of steel annually mainly to make up for the some high-end and niche products that the country has yet been able to supply itself.

Written by Anna Wu, wub@mysteel.com
Edited by Hongmei Li, li.hongmei@mysteel.com