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Exports totalled 5.07 million tonnes last month, compared with 4.92 million tonnes in September, according to preliminary Chinese customs data released on Friday November 8.
Shipments were also up 4.8% on the year.
However, export sources attributed the monthly increase simply to the fact that there were more working days during the month, rather than due to any improvement in demand. Many mills also remained open during the week-long national holiday from October 1-7.
“October has one more day than September, so the increase was reasonable. Actually, the export situation in October was similar with in September, if not slightly worse due to higher export prices in August and early-September,” a Shanghai-based analyst said.
Daily export volume averaged 163,548 tpd in October, compared with an average of 164,000 tpd in September, according to Steel First calculations.
A northern Chinese mill source also told Steel First that his mill was operating as normal during the holiday period, so export shipments were not affected.
During the first ten months of the year, China’s finished steel exports totalled 51.97 million tonnes, up 13.6% from the same time last year.
The country imported 1.14 million tonnes of finished steel in October, down 100,000 tonnes from September, although volumes were up 10.7% year-on-year.
Between January-October, the country’s combined finished steel imports amounted to 11.62 million tonnes, up 0.6% on the year.
China’s finished steel exports edged up 3% month-on-month in October, although buying interest remains weak due to higher export prices, participants said.