China’s finished steel exports fell 16.6% year on year to 5.743 million mt in May, and were down 9.2% month on month, preliminary data released Monday by the General Administration of Customs showed.
Over January-May, China’s steel exports totaled 29.093 million mt, up 2.5% on year, but retreating from the 8.3% year-on-year growth recorded over January-April.
Market sources in China said the decline in steel exports in May was within expectations as a strong domestic market had pushed up prices in early March, reducing orders for May shipment.
They expected exports in June to be in line with May’s before volumes rebounded in July and August, as Chinese prices have declined since late May as the domestic market weakened.
Meanwhile, China’s steel imports totaled 0.982 million mt in May, down 13.4% on year and down 1.8% on month. Over January-May, imports were down 13.4% on year at 4.878 million mt.
The country’s net steel exports stood at 4.761 million mt in May, down 17.2% on year and down 10.6% on month, and over January-May totaled 24.215 million mt, up 6.37% on year.