China’s preference for cheaper iron metallic, semi imports continues into Q1

The trend for China to actively import relatively cheap iron metallics and semi-finished steel products seen in 2019 continued into the first quarter of this year, but can this be sustained?

The answer to this question will come down to the price-competitiveness of the products, as Fastmarkets’ research team detailed in the 2020 preview series earlier in the year.

As the chart below illustrates, in the January-March quarter of 2020 China continued to import iron metallics and semi-finished steel. Semi imports totaled 1.65 million tonnes during the quarter, even higher than a peak of 1.40 million tonnes imported in the second quarter of 2009. Imports of hot-briquetted iron (HBI) and merchant pig iron (MPI) reached 822,768 tonnes and 755,522 tonnes in the January-March period respectively. This takes total iron metallics imports - at 1.58 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2020 - to the highest level since the third quarter of 2009...

Published

Alona Yunda

May 05, 2020

14:53 GMT

London