Steel production

In September, Chinese steel companies shipped 2.6% less steel abroad than in August

In January-September 2023, Chinese steel companies increased the export of steel products by 31.8% compared to the same period in 2022 – up to 66.82 million tons. This is evidenced by the data of the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA).

In September 2023, China’s steelmakers shipped 8.06 million tons of steel for export, which is 2.6% less than in August. The average export price in August was $814.2/t, which is $3.5/t or 0.4% more m/m.

In January-September 2023, steel imports into China amounted to 5.7 million tons, which is 31.7% less than in the same period of 2022. In September, Chinese consumers imported 640,000 tons of steel, which corresponds to August.

The average price of steel imports in September was $1633.3/t, decreasing by 2.2% compared to the previous month.

The high indicators of steel exports from China are caused by low prices for steel products compared to other exporting countries, as well as low domestic demand, which forces domestic producers to send the remaining products abroad.

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

Domestic demand for steel products is still low amid weak consumption in the construction industry. Exports showed growth between February and August, but began to decline in June, likely due to a slowdown in demand abroad as countries grapple with inflation and declining purchasing power.

It is expected that in 2023, China will increase exports of steel by 10% y/y – up to more than 72 million tons. That is, in the second half of the year, export volumes will gradually decrease in monthly dynamics, although they will be higher than in 2022.

As GMK Center reported earlier, China in January-August 2023 increased steel production by 2.5% compared to the same period in 2022 – up to 626.5 million tons. In August, Chinese steelmakers produced 90.8 million tons of steel, which is 11.5% less than in September last year.