China’s domestic finished steel demand has turned bullish as the construction sector gained momentum. Port operations in China have resumed to normal levels and overseas trades have improved during the month.
One of the leading long steelmakers Shagang Jiangsu raised prices for late-May shipment rebar and wire rod by RMB50/mt ($7/mt) from the last set of prices for mid-May prices. The company revised price of rebar (HRB400,16-25mm) to CNY3,750/mt ($529/mt) ex works, including 13pc VAT, and wire rod (HPB300, 6.5mm) to CNY3,810/mt ($538/mt) ex-works.
The Chinese government has provided economic support to boost finished steel demand and more stimulus is expected to be released in the coming days. Rebar demand from overseas buyers like South Korea and Hong Kong, however, has remained subdued as they preferred to book materials either domestically or from Turkey due to competitive prices.
Domestic billet prices rise
Domestic D-bar in the Shanghai market traded at CNY3,580/mt ex-works, while billet prices were at CNY3,270/mt ex-Tangshan, unchanged from the prior day. Billet prices increased by around CNY100-150/mt ($14-21/mt) in May. Also, Chinese blast furnace utilisation rates and daily output hit a 10-months high.