In three months, Chinese steelmakers shipped 25.8 million tons of steel products abroad

In January-March 2024, Chinese steel companies increased exports of steel products by 30.7% compared to the same period in 2023, to 25.8 million tons. Exports reached their highest level since 2016. This is reported by Reuters with reference to data from Chinese customs.

In March, China increased its steel exports by 25.3% compared to March 2023 – to 9.89 million tons, the highest since July 2016.

Steel imports to China in January-March 2024 amounted to 1.75 million tons, which is 8.6% less compared to the same period in 2023. In March, the figure decreased by 9.3% y/y – to 617 thousand tons.

Imports of iron ore by Chinese steelmakers increased by 5.5% y/y – to 310.13 million tons during this period. In March, imports increased by 0.5% y/y – to 100.72 million tons.

The figure rose on the back of increased demand among steelmakers after the holiday season. In addition, the market had predicted an increase in production in March, but demand was much weaker than expected, which, together with high imports, increased stocks in ports and sent raw material prices down.

In March, iron ore stocks in major Chinese ports increased by 5.3% m/m – to 142.1 million tons, the highest level since the end of February 2023, while iron ore prices fell by more than 13%. Imports are expected to grow further in April.

As GMK Center reported earlier, in 2023, China increased its 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.