SHANGHAI, August 23 (SMM) - China’s stainless steel imports stood at 178,700 mt in July, down 34% MoM and 19.13% YoY.
The import volume from Indonesia fell 27.32% month-on-month and accounted for nearly 80% of Indonesia's output. China’s imports of semi-finished stainless steel products from Indonesia fell significantly while imports of cold-rolled stainless steel products from Indonesia rose noticeably. This data suggests that some Indonesian exporters who had originally intended to sell their producers to Europe and the United States actually exported them to China due to poor demand from Europe and the United States. It is expected that China’s imports of cold-rolled stainless steel products from Indonesia will continue to increase in August and September.
China’s stainless steel exports dropped 15.08% MoM, but rose 1.45% YoY and remained at a historical high. The top ten destinations accounted for just half of China’s total stainless steel exports, down from previous 60-70%. Exports to Italy have recovered. The operating rates of manufacturing industry in Europe and the United States may pick up after the global power shortages are eased and due to weaker expectations for more aggressive US interest rate hike. Exports of finished stainless steel products fell sharply, while those of narrow strip rose. Whether the stainless steel demand in South-east Asia can sustain still needs to be observed, while the demand in Europe and the US has shown signs of recovery.