Russia’s stainless imports increase despite Chinese restriction

Russian stainless steel imports increased in June and the main supplier was again China, says national special steel association USSA. Russian stainless intake was up 6.1% on-month and 43.6% on-year to 42,580 tonnes, Kallanish notes.

June imports of stainless cold rolled flat products decreased 11.8% on-month and seamless pipes by 13.5%. However, hot rolled flats intake fell by 7.5%.

Russia increased imports of stainless steel in 2020 to 383,200t, up by 3.8% on-year.

The leading manufacturers of imported stainless products in June were again companies from China, whose share in the total volume was 63.1%. India’s share was 10.9%, followed by Indonesia with 3.1% and Ukraine with 2.8%.

However, China announced that some steel products will see their export tax rebates cancelled from 1 May, which will lead to export price increases (see Kallanish passim).

“The first half of 2021 was not easy for Russian stainless steel market,” USSA says. “A slight increase in the supply of both imported and Russian product could not meet the high demand. The growth in real consumption in many items was compensated by warehouse stocks, but this did not affect the entire range.”

According to experts, traders are afraid that the imposed restriction on steelmaking by China will affect stainless steel market and are trying to replenish their stocks, the association observes.

“The rise in prices in China, naturally, will be reflected in the export prices of the entire Asian region and this means that Russian importers will again face rise in prices for purchase,” USSA says.

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria