SHANGHAI, Mar 4 (SMM)—China HRC stocks across social warehouses and steel makers rose slightly from the previous week as end-user demand has recovered.
SMM data showed that HRC stocks rose 50,600 mt or 1.14% from the previous week, but shrank 4.74% from a year earlier, to 4.5 million mt in the week ended March 4.
Inventories across social warehouses rose 99,900 mt or 3.18% week on week to 3.24 million mt. This was 10.74% higher than the same period last year. The rise in HRC social inventories narrowed sharply this week as end users have restarted production.
Stocks at Chinese steel makers came in at 1.26 million mt, down 49,300 mt or 3.76% week on week and 29.92% year on year. HRC in-plant inventories extended declines this week as sales at steel makers who had fixed prices previously improved as HRC prices rose significantly. In addition, the recovery of transportation after CNY helped the transfer of in-plant stocks to social warehouses.
The changes in HRC inventories this week were basically in line with expectations. Compared with the same period of 2016-2019, HRC inventories were higher this year as end-user demand was slightly curbed by spot and futures HRC prices that hit new all-time highs this week. Total HRC inventories are likely to fall next week.