Steel inventories of five major steel products at key Chinese producers rose to 14.79mn mt in mid-February (Feb 11-20), up 102pc or 7.49mn mt from early January as end-user consumptions halted amid Lunar New Year holidays, according to CISA data. Inventories were up by 3.45mn mt or 30pc from the prior month. Compared to prior year period, inventories in mid-February shrunk by 14.8pc or 2.56mn mt.
A major factor driving the inventories build up was a robust demand outlook for steel post-holidays supported by infrastructure projects funded by government stimuli. Key steelmakers’ daily crude steel output rose to 2.28mn mt up by 3.4pc in mid-February from early-February.
Rebar inventories increased to a record high of 7.81mn mt up by 39.7pc or 2.22mn mt from the prior month period, while down by 7.2pc or 610,000mt from the prior year period. Amid high inventory build-up Shagang Steel held rebar prices for the rest of the month in the domestic market.
HRC stocks rose by 7.7pc or 120,000mt to 1.67mn mt in mid-February from the prior month period, while they were down by 34pc or 860,000mt from the prior year period.
CRC inventories increased to 1.23mn mt up by 17.1pc or 180,000mt from the prior month and down by 21.7pc or 340,000mt from the prior year period.