(c) shutterstock.com

In the first 7 months of the year, steel import to China decreased by 3.4%

China’s iron&steel companies in July 2022 increased iron ore imports by 3.1% compared to July 2021, to 91.4 million tons. Iron ore supplies also increased by 2.6% compared to the previous month. It is reported by Reuters with the reference to the data of the General Administration of China’s Customs.

Steel imports increased in July on the back of improved margins at Chinese steel companies, offsetting fears of a drop in demand.

Improved profitability has prompted mills in China to restart some blast furnaces that were previously idled as widespread COVID-19 lockdowns hit demand. In general, in the period from July 21 to August 1, 23 blast furnaces resumed operation.

“The recovery in mill’s margins has spurred hopes that production capacity may resume more quickly than expected,” the report said.

“Demand concerns for the iron ore market, however, are expected to persist due to China’s decarbonisation goals and its ailing property sector. China aims to cut annual steel production for a second straight year to curb emissions,” Reuters reports.

Iron ore stocks in Chinese ports also remain high. They rose to an over two-month top of 136.6 million tonnes as of August 5, increasing for the sixth week in a row.

In January-July 2022, China reduced the import of steel by 3.4% compared to the same period last year – to 627 million tons.

The export of Chinese steel in July grew by 17.6% compared to July 2021 – to 6.67 million tons. In 7 months, the indicator decreased by 6.9% – to 40.07 million tons.

As GMK Center reported earlier, iron&steel Chinese companies in January-June 2022 reduced import of iron ore by 4.4% compared to the same period last year – up to 536 million tons.

China is the largest producer of steel in the world. According to the results of 2021 Chinese steelmakers reduced steel production by 3% compared to 2020 – to 1.03 billion tons.