China’s finished steel exports rose to 6.458mn mt in June, up by 74.5pc from a year ago. In the first half of 2021 (January-June), China exported 37.382mn mt of finished steel, up by 30.2pc from the prior-year period, according to customs data.
Steel imports in June decreased to 1.252mn mt, down by 33pc from the prior year. In H1, imports grew marginally by 0.1pc to 7.349mn mt.
Exports increased and imports fell as domestic steel consumption took a back seat on slower manufacturing growth. China’s initiative to lower its H2 steel production to check pollution and overcapacity could further impact the country’s steel trade. Steel mills that are yet to conform to ultra-low emission guidelines have been directed to reduce steel output by 30pc until the end of the year.
Iron ore and concentrates imports also decreased by 12pc from last year to 89.417mn mt in June. In H1, iron ore imports increased by 2.6pc from the prior-year period to 56.705mn mt.
China’s coal and lignite imports rose by 12.3pc to 28.392mn mt in June as compared to the previous year, but cumulatively for H1, imports of coal and lignite fell by 19.7pc to 13.956mn mt.