Davis Index: Market Intelligence for the Global Metals and Recycled Materials Markets

China’s steel exports fell to 5.05mn mt in August, down by 10.9pc from July, registering a second successive monthly decline, according to customs data. Although August marks the second lowest volume this year, it is still 37.3pc higher than August 2020. 


The cumulative steel export volume from January to August was at 48.10mn mt, which was up by 31.6pc against 36.55mn mt year prior.  


The country adjusted export tariffs twice this year, first in May and again in August. It removed export tax rebates for around 170 products reducing the incentive for steel exporters. Chinese mills were thus forced to divert supplies to the domestic market.  


Quantity in mn mtAug-21Jan-Aug 2021Jan-Aug 2020Cummulative Change YoY
Iron Ore and Concentrate97.49746.45759.21-1.7%
Coal and lignite28.05197.69220.34-10.3%
    Car (including chassis) in 10,000 units20.9131.860.6117.5%
    Ship in numbers3713329287715.7%


Iron ore and coal imports

China imported 97.49mn mt of iron ore and concentrates in August, imports were higher by 10.2pc from 88.51mn mt imported in July while down 2.9pc from 100.36mn mt the same month year prior.  


In August, iron ore imports in China recorded rise for first time in last five months. However, imports are expected to slow down with demand for steel comparatively slow along with the ongoing curbs on steel production.


During Jan-Aug period, iron ore imports totalled 746.45mn mt, down 1.7pc. Iron ore imports are expected to slow down in the coming months following stricter production cuts in the country.  


China imported 28.05mn mt of coal and lignite in August, up 35.8pc from the same month prior year. Imports of coal dropped 7pc from July. During Jan-Aug, coal and lignite totalled at 197.69mn mt, registering a decline of 10.3pc from the same period prior year.


According to preliminary customs data, in August China also exported car (including chasis) of 209,000 units and a total of 371 ships.


Over January-August, amid recovering economy from the pandemic, China’s foreign trade value grew by 23.7pc from the prior year to CNY24.78trillion ($3.8 trillion). Exports value jumped 23.2pc to CNY13.57 trillion from the year prior while imports grew 24.4pc to CNY11.22 trillion.  


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