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WEEKLY: China rebar supply fluctuates, pessimism dwells

Rebar output from China’s 137 sampled steelmakers has been range-bound since the middle of July due to frequent but short-time maintenance, and as of September 10-16, the volume reversed up 0.3% on week to 3.7 million tonnes, according to Mysteel’s latest weekly survey.

During the period, the average rebar rolling capacity utilization rate among the these mills rebounded accordingly by 0.2 percentage point on week to 81.7% after a one-week drop.

Meanwhile, China’s rebar market sentiment stayed dismal, as the domestic demand so far has failed to match the high expectation, according to market sources.

Over September 10-16, the country’s spot sales volume of major long steel products comprising rebar, wire rod and bar-in-coil among 237 traders averaged 218,255 tonnes/day, down 1.3% on week, and the national price of the HRB 400 20mm dia rebar dipped too by Yuan 36/tonne ($5.3/t) on week to Yuan 3,823/t including 13% VAT on average, according to Mysteel’s data.

We and almost all the other (steel) market participants had great expectations on the consumption in September-October, but nowadays the daily trading volume is just alright, far from our definition of ‘strong’,” said a long steel trader from East China, adding that he is holding a rather pessimistic outlook on demand for the reminder of this year basing on the September reality.

His pessimism, to some extent, may be justified, as so far in 2020, the Chinese rebar market has been under persistently heavy pressure of high stocks, and even though the total volume at the traders in China’s 35 cities dipped 1.6% on week to 8.8 million tonnes as of September 17, but it was still much higher than the 5.3 million tonnes a year ago, according to Mysteel’s data.

Written by Venus Wang, wangyi@mysteel.com

Edited by Hongmei Li, li.hongmei@mysteel.com

Table 1: Mysteel Rebar Production Survey by Region on September 16 (Unit: ’000 tonnes)

Table 2: Mysteel Wire Rod Production Survey by Region on September 16 (Unit: ‘000 tonnes)

Table 3: Mysteel Rebar Production Survey by Process on September 16 (Unit: ‘000 tonnes)

Table 4: Mysteel Wire Rod Production Survey by Process on September 16 (Unit: ‘000 tonnes)

Table 5: Mysteel Rebar and Wire Rod Stocks Survey by Region on September 16 (Unit: ‘000 tonnes)

Table 6: Mysteel Rebar and Wire Rod Stocks Survey by Process on September 16 (Unit: ‘000 tonnes)