Apparent consumption of steel in China for the first five-months 2012 fell 1% to the lowest level since 2001.

China exported 5.23Mt of steel products in May, up 560kt from April and 9.87% from a year earlier, hitting a new record high since July 2010, according to the latest data released by the General Administration of Customs.

The country’s steels exports stood at 22.04Mt in the first five months, rising 10.1% year on year. Widening gaps between market prices of similar products in China and abroad are driving local mills to shift part of their supplies to the overseas markets for better profits.

The data also showed that the country imported 1.32Mt of steel products in May, up 3.1% y-o-y and the steels imports in the period of January-May amounted to 5.85Mt, down 14.4% from a year earlier. This indicator echoes the declining PMI data for the past few months in a row.

Source: China Metals e-mail