China is now not only the world’s largest steel producer but also exporter. It expects to see steel exports flat or rising slightly in 2013 compared to 2012 amid growing demand in the global market.

According to latest data from the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, the sub-index of China’s iron and steel purchasing managers index (PMI) in January export orders grew 0.3% to 47.6%, representing a rise in steel exports.

In 2012 China exported 55.73Mt of steel, up 14%, and imported 13.66Mt of steel, down 12.3%. In January 2013, exports of finished steel reached 4.916Mt, up 31.8% on January 2011. Of this, flat products accounted for the largest export at 1.978Mt, a rise of 13.2%. Semis accounted for only 50t, a fall of 20.66% on Jan 2012.
Steel inventory levels in 29 monitored Chinese cities amounted to 13.93Mt as of January 31, an increase of 2.16Mt from December 31, according to data obtained by Xinhua.

Stocks of steel products, however, registered the tenth weekly growth and hit a new high two weeks after the Chinese New Year, said custeel.com, a domestic market intelligence, adding that the social stocks of five major steel products hit a new high of 20.3837Mt as of February 22.

Source: China Metals e-mail chinametal@xinhua.org