SHANGHAI, Mar. 13 (SMM) -- According to data from China Customs, China’s exports of finished steel during February totaled 4.24 million mt, down 13.8% MoM but up 25.1% YoY. China’s imports of finished steel hit 0.9 million mt during February, down 18.2% MoM and 26.2% YoY. China’s exports of finished steel for February fell by 680,000 mt MoM, which is in line with Steelease expectation. Steelease believes that reduced exports were mainly due to fewer working days in February caused by holiday factor. Meanwhile, the anti-dumping investigation on China’s steel from Australia, North America and Brazil also negatively affected China’s exports of steel. Steelease believes that China’s exports of finished steel will slightly increase in March, and the reasons are as follows.
First, not affected by holiday factor, there are more working days in March than those in February. Meanwhile, as weather turns warmer in March, demand from construction industry will peak in countries in north hemisphere.
Second, manufacture industry growth rate began to rebound in South Korea and the Euro Union, major importers of China’s finished steel. South Korea’s manufacturing PMI for February rose above 50.9% and hit 50.9% in February. India’s manufacturing PMI for February continued to rebound to 54.2%. Although PMI was still below 50% in the euro zone, it improved from a month earlier.
Third, China’s crude steel output increased from February and March, but demand for steel was limited as purchasers replenished stocks before holiday. This intensified oversupply pressure of steel, which increased domestic steel and traders’ willingness to export steel.