China`s steel

Shipments of products abroad increased by 36.2% and reached a maximum since 2016

In 2023, Chinese steel companies increased their exports of steel products by 36.2% compared to 2022, to 90.3 million tons. Export shipments have reached their highest level since 2016. This is evidenced by data from the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA).

In December 2023, Chinese steelmakers exported 7.73 million tons of steel, down 3.5% compared to November. The average export price in December amounted to $824.9/t, up $14/t or 1.7% m/m.

Steel imports to China in January-December 2023 amounted to 7.64 million tons, which is 27.6% less than in 2022. In December, Chinese consumers imported 665 thousand tons of steel, up 8.3% month-on-month.

The average price of steel imports in December amounted to $1569.6 per tonne, down 3.6% compared to November.

High rate of steel exports from China in 2023 was caused by low prices for steel products compared to other exporting countries, as well as weak domestic demand throughout the year. This forced domestic producers to send their surplus products abroad.

The bulk of steel is exported to regions where there are no trade barriers, including Southeast Asia, the Middle East, South Asia, Central America, etc.

As GMK Center reported earlier, China increased steel production by 1.5% y/y – to 952.14 million tons in January-November 2023. In November, Chinese steelmakers reduced steel production by 3.8% month-on-month and increased it by 0.4% y/y – to 76.1 million tons. Thus, in 2023, steel production in China is likely to exceed 1 billion tons.