SHANGHAI, Aug 16 (SMM) – Social inventories of hot-rolled coil (HRC) in China declined for the first time since late May this week, as Typhoon Lekima impacted delivery, delaying arrivals or stranding cargoes at ports, and as US tariff delay and production curtailments improved market sentiment and bolstered purchases.
SMM data showed that HRC stocks across social warehouses decreased by 2.6% from a week ago to stand at 2.47 million mt as of Thursday August 15, after 11 consecutive weeks of gains. Social stocks rose 10.1% from a year ago.
Production curbs across mills in the top steelmaking hub of Tangshan shored up prices of steel strip, forcing users to buy alternative HRC, which also helped lift HRC demand.
In-plant inventories, however, rose for a second straight week this week, gaining 1.5% to 976,600 mt, as some mills in Tangshan recovered from production curbs. Output was also bolstered by the ramp-up of newly-commissioned capacity or resumed capacity from maintenance.
Overall HRC stocks across social and in-plant warehouses in China came in at 3.44 million mt as of August 15, down 1.5% week on week but up 6.6% year on year.