China’s steel export continued to increase, albeit at a slower growth rate. Total steel export from China registered a growth rate of 6.7% y-o-y from January to August 2016, compared to the growth rate of 20% y-o-y in 2015. China’s steel export to ASEAN increased by 22.7% y-o-y to 25.2 million tonnes in the first eight months of 2016 and accounted for 33% of China’s total steel export to the world.
The bulk of the steel products exported from China to ASEAN countries were steel for construction usage. Vietnam was the largest market for China’s finished steel export among the ASEAN countries. The export volume of 8.1 million tonnes to Vietnam was an increase of 27.8% y-o-y, followed by the export to Thailand and Philippines, at 4.5 million tonnes and 4.4 million tonnes respectively. The biggest item of steel export from China to Vietnam was HRC, accounting for a share of 34%, followed by the export of coated sheet and HRP.
In the case of Thailand, the main export item from China was bar, registering a share of 46% of its total finished steel export to the country, followed by wire rod and coated sheet. The major export item from China to Philippines was also bar, with a share of 47% of total finished steel export to the country.
Export to Indonesia increased significantly, by 42% y-o-y to 3.8 million tonnes in the first eight months of 2016. The largest volume was the export of bar, at 2.5 million tonnes, and the volume increased significantly by 32.5% y-o-y.
China’s steel export to Malaysia saw a moderate growth rate of 3.5% y-o-y to 2.3 million tonnes for the period January to August 2016.
Export of steel structure from China, however, slowed down, with a growth rate of 2.6% y-o-y in the first eight months of 2016. The export to ASEAN declined by 19.4% y-o-y in the same period.
Around 78% of the steel structure export from China was under category ‘other’ or ‘HS code: 7308.90’. Total export volume registered 3.6 million tonnes, an increase of 5% y-o-y in the period January-August 2016. Major destinations of the export were South Korea, Japan and USA, at 469,719 tonnes, 424,504 tonnes and 402,377 tonnes respectively. Export of the product to ASEAN, however, declined by 18% y-o-y to 531,207 tonnes in the same period.
Among the ASEAN countries, Indonesia was the biggest destination for China’s export of ‘other’ steel structure, with a volume of 153,392 tonnes, a decline of 17.5% y-o-y. Export volume to Malaysia, the second largest destination in ASEAN, was 133,073 tonnes in the first eight months of 2016 and this was a significant increase of 52.5% y-o-y.
The export volume to Vietnam in the first eight months of 2016, on the other hand, was reduced by more than half compared to the corresponding period of 2015, to 75,253 tonnes. Export to Singapore remained stable, with a slight growth rate of 1.2% y-o-y to 69,379 tonnes. Export to Philippines and Thailand dropped significantly, by 25% y-o-y to 53,575 tonnes and 28.6% y-o-y to 46,535 tonnes respectively.