The import of steel products during this period decreased by 3.7% y/y

In January-April 2024, Chinese steel companies increased steel exports by 27% compared to the same period in 2023, – to 35.02 million tons. This was reported by the China Steel Association (CISA).

Imports of steel products for 4 months decreased by 3.7% compared to January-April 2023 – to 2.4 million tons. Iron ore imports reached 411.82 million tons, up 7.2% y/y.

In April, Chinese steelmakers exported 9.22 million tons of steel, down 6.7% month-on-month. The average export price was $777.6/t (-0.8% m/m). Steel imports in April increased by 6.6% m/m – to 658 thousand tons. The average import price amounted to $1.71 thousand (+5% m/m).

China’s imports of iron ore last month reached 101.82 million tons, up 1.1% compared to March. The average import price amounted to $113.1/t (-10.2% m/m).

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.

As GMK Center reported earlier, in 2023, China increased exports of steel products 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.