SHANGHAI, Nov 15 (SMM) – Social inventories of hot-rolled coil (HRC) in China trended lower for a fifth straight week, as demand ramped up after prices of futures rose on the release of winter smog control action plans for the Fenwei Plain and the Yangtze River Delta.
SMM data showed that stocks of HRC across social warehouses decreased by 6.2% from a week ago to 1.85 million mt as of Thursday November 14.
Social inventories were also pulled down by maintenance at the port of Baiyuquan port, which deterred northern cargoes from moving to social warehouses across the country, with 120,000 mt of coil and plate stranded at the port on Thursday.
Resilient demand and limited arrivals are expected to extend the decline in social inventories of HRC, and lend support to spot prices.
This week, HRC inventories across Chinese steelmakers fell for a second straight week, declining 5.2% from a week ago to 844,800 mt, as demand from tube and pipe producers remained robust and some mills conducted maintenance.
Stronger demand from cold-rolling mills, bolstered by improved margins, also contributed to lower in-plant HRC inventories.
Overall HRC stocks across social warehouses and steel mills in China came in at 2.7 million mt as of November 14, down 5.9% from a week ago and 14.6% from a year ago.