China`s steel

In two months, Chinese steelmakers shipped 15.9 million tons of metal products abroad

In January-February 2024, Chinese steel companies increased their exports of steel products by 32.6% compared to the same period in 2023, to 15.91 million tons. The average export price amounted to $791.7/t, up 32.1% y/y. This is according to the China Iron and Steel Association (CISA).

Steel imports to China in January-February 2024 amounted to 1.13 million tons, which is 8.1% less than in the same period in 2023. The average import price for the two months decreased by 5.3% y/y – to $1651/t.

Imports of iron ore by Chinese steelmakers increased by 8.1% y/y – to 209.45 million tons during this period. The average price of raw materials amounted to $131.1/t, up 13.6% y/y. The increase in imports was driven by steelmakers actively replenishing stocks to meet production needs during and after the week-long Lunar New Year holidays. The corresponding import volume for the two months is a record high.

At the same time, the increase in ore imports to China contributed to a drop in commodity prices and an increase in port stocks. In January-February 2024, iron ore prices fell by 19%, while stocks in major Chinese ports increased by more than 16% y/y – to 134.9 million tons, the highest since March 2023.

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.