Chinese exports rebound in June

Chinese steel exports rebounded in June beyond expectations. They remained down from levels earlier in the year, however. Imports meanwhile recovered marginally in June and are now steady on-year, Kallanish notes.

China exported 6.458 million tonnes of finished steel in June, up 22.5% from May and 74.5% higher y-o-y, according to the General Administration of Customs. Over the first half year, exports are now up 30.2% at 37.382mt. 

Exports had slumped by a third on-month in May as China removed VAT rebates on most steel products. In June, there were also rumours of a further removal of rebates and new export taxes but these did not materialise. Despite the uncertainty in the market, Chinese mills and traders were more competitive and the summer slowdown brought Chinese prices closer to international levels.

China also imported 1.252mt of finished steel in June, up from 1.206mt in May. Over January-June China imported 7.349mt of finished steel, up 0.1% y-o-y. These figures do not include semi-finished steel. Some traders had been booking in material for import in June amid expectations that Chinese steel output would be reduced at the end of July for the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist party.

Tomas Gutierrez UK