China’s steel exports in June reached an eight-year low of 3.7 million tonnes while the country’s steel imports topped 1.9 million tonnes to hit a ten-year high, according to the latest statistics from China’s General Administration of Customs published on July 14.
Meanwhile, China’s steel imports in June were 46.8% higher month-on-month and higher by 99.9% year-on-year, the GACC’s data shows, taking China’s total steel imports in H1 to 5.8 million tonnes, up 26.1% year-on-year.
Over January-June, China’s total exports reached 34.4 million tonnes, down 16.5% year-on-year.
Industry sources cited low steel demand in the rest of the world amid the COVID-19 outbreak for the fall in exports, and the early demand recovery in China after the virus eased for the surge in the latter.
The total steel export volumes declined 15.9% month-on-month or 30.3% year-on-year, GACC’s data showed.
Over 70% of auto producers in Europe, Japan and South Korea have been halted due to the Coronavirus pandemic as well as major buyers of flat steel in China.
“Though industries in these countries have been recovering their operations recently to revive their economies, steel demand is still largely lower on year,” he noted.