ACCOUNT PROFILE

China mills’ steel stocks down to year's low

Posted on 08 October 2021

Stocks of the five major finished steel products at the 184 Chinese steel mills sampled under Mysteel’s weekly survey declined for the fourth week over September 23-29 to hit the year's low of 4.98 million tonnes, mainly thanks the further drop in mills' steel output and the steady demand from end-users.

Total inventories of the five major steel products comprising rebar, wire rod, hot-rolled coil, cold-rolled coil and medium plate posted a sharper fall of 504,400 tonnes or 9.2% on week over September 23-29 against the previous on-week decline of 6%.

Among the total, stocks of rebar and wire rod posted the largest decline of 13.4% and 11.7% respectively on week, due to the continuous decline in output, with the on-going restrictions on energy consumption among steel mills in many regions.

Over September 23-29, total output of the five major steel products among the 184 surveyed mills hit a 19-month low of 8.6 million tonnes, down for the fourth week by another 6.3% from one week before. Production of rebar still saw the largest fall in volume to reach 2.48 million tonnes during that period, marking the lowest since mid-March 2020, the weekly survey showed.

Demand from steel users remained stable as "some end-users were building inventory to fulfil their needs during the National Day holiday (over October 1-7)," a market source in Shanghai said.

For example, the daily trading volume of construction steel comprising rebar, wire rod and bar-in-coil among the 237 traders Mysteel monitors averaged 225,089 tonnes/day over September 23-29, down 4,746 t/d on week though still above the threshold of 200,000 t/d usual for the peak season for steel consumption.

Inventories of the five steel items at the commercial warehouses Mysteel monitors in 132 cities also emptied faster to an eight-month low of 20.32 million tonnes over September 24-30, sliding for the ninth straight week by 6.5% on week compared with the on-week decline of 2% over the prior week, according to the survey.

China's steel prices continued strengthening last week, with the national price of HRB400E 20mm dia rebar assessed by Mysteel gaining another Yuan 105/tonne ($16.2/t) on week to Yuan 5,859/t including the 13% VAT as of September 29, the highest since May 17.

 

Written by Nancy Zheng, zhengmm@mysteel.com

Edited by Russ McCulloch, russ.mcculloch@mysteel.com

 

Table 1 Five major steel products stocks at mills (Sept 23-29)

Product

Volume ('000 t)

WoW (%)

MoM (%)

YoY (%)

Rebar

2,417.3

-13.4%

-29.0%

-28.2%

Wire rod

702.3

-11.7%

-13.0%

1.9%

HR sheet

851.0

0.8%

-7.5%

-28.6%

CR sheet

293.0

-2.1%

-7.5%

-4.9%

Medium plate

720.0

-5.0%

-5.6%

-16.7%

Total

4,983.6

-9.2%

-19.8%

-22.4%

 

Table 2 Five major steel products stocks at traders (Sept 24-30)

Product

Volume (million t)

WoW (%)

MoM (%)

YoY (%)

Rebar

9.43

-8.8%

-16.8%

-16.5%

Wire rod

2.95

-9.0%

-12.3%

3.0%

HR sheet

3.98

-1.7%

-3.0%

7.0%

CR sheet

1.83

-0.7%

-0.8%

7.5%

Medium plate

2.14

-5.9%

-9.5%

11.2%

Total

20.32

-6.5%

-11.6%

-5.4%

 

Note: Mysteel has started publishing the new set of data regarding traders’ steel inventories since March 19 2020 to better represent the market with bigger sample sizes.

Rebar and wire rod: Sample size is increased to 429 warehouses in 132 Chinese cities from the previous 215 warehouses in 35 cities.

Hot-rolled coil (HRC): Sample size is increased to 194 warehouses in 55 cities from the previous 138 warehouses in 33 cities.

Cold-rolled coil (CRC): Sample size is increased to 182 warehouses in 29 cities from the previous 134 warehouses in 26 cities.

Medium plate: Sample size is increased to 217 warehouses in 65 cities from the previous 132 warehouses in 31 cities.

Source : Mysteel Global