We pointed out in June last year that the Chinese import pig iron market might revive to fill the widening gap between iron and steel production in China, alongside ferrous scrap.
Hong Kong surprisingly boosted its imports of merchant pig iron (MPI) in 2018, but we believe that the volumes involved may actually have been destined for China.
The steel industry in Hong Kong is represented by just one re-rolling mill, Shiu Wing Steel. With that in mind, we believe that the imported MPI volume was not destined for that country but may have been delivered to Chinese steelmakers instead.
The key MPI importers in East and Southeast Asia include Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea and Indonesia. But they did not record any significant MPI shipments from Hong Kong in their import statistics last year. In January, South...