China’s finished steel exports of 4.58mn mt in November are down 14pc from the same month in 2018.The country’s finished steel exports for November fell 4pc from October and decreased 7pc for the 11months ended November. Finished steel exports during Q3 2019, compared to the same quarter last year, decreased 12pc. Compared to Q4 2018, exports were down 14pc, and since peaking in Q3 2015, finished steel exports from China have declined 54pc.
China’s iron ore imports in November totalled 91mn mt, down from 93mn mt in October, and much less than the 99mn mt in September—then a 20-month high. Steel mill demand—it has been so strong that it eclipsed Australian and Brazilian demand, which dwindled due to internal issues with Vale—through the first 11 months of 2019 grew 7.6pc compared to 6.5pc over the same 11-month period in 2018.
China’s iron ore port inventories have decreased from 134mn mt, which was a six-month high, in October to 129mn mt at the end of November. The benchmark price for seaborne iron ore is $90mt, down from the five-year high of $120mt in early July. However, it is up from $80mt at the beginning of November. Iron ore imports to China marginally declined by 0.7pc in the 11 months ended November 2019 from the same period last year, to 971mn mt.
Chinese steel demand is benefiting greatly both from policy that’s rejuvenated the country’s construction sector and less stringent requirements on winter output.