During this period, the import of metal products decreased by 2.7% y/y

In January-May 2024, Chinese steel companies increased steel exports by 24.7% compared to the same period in 2023, to 44.7 million tons. In monetary terms, exports fell by 11.5% y/y. This is reported by Kallanish with reference to data from the General Bureau of Statistics of China.

Imports of steel products for 5 months decreased by 2.7% compared to January-May 2023 – to 3.04 million tons. Iron ore imports reached 513.75 million tons, up 7% y/y.

In May of this year, Chinese steelmakers exported 9.63 million tons of steel, up 4.4% month-on-month. The average export price was $761/t (-2.2% m/m).

In May, steel imports fell by 3.2% m/m to 637 thousand tons, and iron ore imports fell by 0.2% m/m to 102.03 million tons. The average import price of iron ore amounted to $105.7/t (-6.5% m/m).

China’s steelmakers continue to export aggressively, despite the imposition of anti-dumping restrictions and investigations against Chinese products by many countries. At the same time, against the backdrop of declining export revenues, the National Development and Reform Commission of China has stated that exports of products with low added value and high energy consumption will be restricted. This will also apply to pig iron and coke.

Chinese steelmakers are facing the problems of falling domestic demand for steel and certain threats to growing exports. This year, steel consumption in China will decline again, as the protracted real estate crisis has not yet reached the bottom and infrastructure demand growth is slowing. Thus, the country is returning to the practice of regulating steel production to change the dynamics of the value chain.

In 2023, China produced 1.019 billion tons of steel, up 0.6% from 2022. The downward trend in the country’s steel industry has stopped after two consecutive years of declining production.

Last year, exports of steel products fell by 36.2% compared to 2022, to 90.3 million tons. Steel imports to China amounted to 7.64 million tons, down 27.6% y/y. Iron ore imports for the year increased by 6.6% compared to 2022 – to 1.179 billion tons.