FOCUS: Cooking at home? You're driving up China's flat steel prices

A global boom in home appliance sales during the Covid-19 pandemic is causing a shortage in flat steel supplies in China, and in turn supporting prices, Fastmarkets has heard.

Jiang Yuan, deputy director of the Department of Industrial Statistics at the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said that China’s output of home appliances including fridges and ovens rose by more than 26% year-on-year in July, “thanks to higher overseas demand because more people are staying at home amid the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Chinese refrigerator production reached 9.36 million units in September 2020, up by 28% year-on-year. It produced a total of 64.76 million fridges from January to September, according to the NBS.
A Japanese source agreed and said that Japan had shown significant growth in demand for air conditioners, with people spending more time at home during the pandemic.
“This resulted in mounting orders to both home appliance producers and upstream material providers, especially cold-rolled coil producers,” a Shanghai-based trader said.

Many Chinese home appliance producers in Guangdong province have full production schedules until early...

Published

Miranda Song

October 21, 2020

14:01 GMT

Shanghai