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China’s finished steel exports reach 5-year high in August

Keywords: Tags  finished steel, steel exports, China exports, Chinese steel, steel prices

SHANGHAI — China’s finished steel exports rebounded in August as orders improved from mid-June to early July amid low prices.

Exports totaled 6.14 million tonnes in August, up 19.2 percent from 5.15 million tonnes in July and 44.8 percent higher year on year, according to preliminary Chinese customs data released Sept. 8.

"It is the first time since October 2008 that China’s finished steel exports had exceeded 6 million tonnes, which could be due to good orders received in mid-June and early July, when prices reached a bottom and attracted overseas buyers," one Shanghai-based analyst said.

Chinese hot-rolled coil export prices fell to $490 to $505 per tonne f.o.b. at the end of June, down an average of 13.5 percent from $570 to $580 f.o.b. at the beginning of 2013.

"It’s good to see the export (volume) increase, but it’s still not enough to relieve the oversupply in the domestic market," a northern Chinese mill source said.

With export prices slowly picking up since mid-July and deemed "unattractive" by buyers, the country’s exports could fall again in October, market sources said.

China imported 1.23 million tonnes of finished steel in August, up 4.2 percent from the prior month and 2.5 percent higher year on year.

A version of this article was first published in AMM sister publication Steel First.

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