SHANGHAI, Mar 15 (SMM) – Inventories of hot-rolled coil across social warehouses and steel mills in China declined for a third straight week, in the fifth week post-CNY as downstream consumers stepped up consumption.
SMM data showed overall HRC inventories stood at 3.64 million mt as of Thursday March 14, down 1.1% from a week ago and 4.7% from the same period in 2018.
For the same week, social stocks fell for the second week since the new lunar year, coming in at 2.63 million mt, down 2.2% from a week ago and 5.8% from a lunar year ago.
Stocks across mills, however, rose 1.9% to 1.02 million mt this week. This stood 2% lower than the same period in 2018. HRC in-plant inventories shrank 1% in the previous week.
Prices of HRC averaged 3,843.1 yuan/mt this week, down from 3,853 yuan/mt a week earlier, with pressure from the falling automobile market. However, as lower offers bolstered purchases, HRC prices will receive strong support next week.