China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently reported a rise in steel production by 3.1pc in January and February from the prior year period. A day later on Tuesday, China’s state-owned media announced early March steel inventories for 20 cities in the country.
The collective inventory is at 20.21mn mt, an increase of 6.1pc over the same period, early March, last year. Inventories are up by 1.16mn mt, the agency claimed.
Steel inventories for early March are also up over December 2019, when inventories for the 20 cities were at 13.39mn mt.
Metallurgical News did not name the cities, but stated that steel stocks in east China increased by 330,000mt; and in northwest China by 300,000mt. In the western region of China, steel inventories increased by 38.2pc.
As per Metallurgical News, in early Feb 2020, steel inventory was at 18.51mn mt, an increase of 5.45mn mt over the same period a year ago.
In mid-Feb steel stock with producers was 21.413mn mt an increase of 15.27pc over the beginning of the month and an increase by 123.88pc from beginning of this year.
Steel inventories have built up in in China due to the outbreak of COVID-19 which resulted in a lockdown of at least 16 cities.
The current (early March) inventory of major iron and steel companies, as per China Iron and Steel Association, is 121.40mn mt, an increase of 923,900mt or 4.51pc over the Oct-Dec 2019 period.