Domestic scrap steel prices fluctuated upwards

China Iron and Steel Association Market Research Department

According to customs data, in December 2021, my country exported 5.026 million tons of steel, a month-on-month increase of 665,000 tons, ending the month-on-month five consecutive declines; imported steel was 1.001 million tons, a month-on-month decrease of 423,000 tons, the lowest level in 2021. In 2021, my country's cumulative export volume of steel will be 66.895 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 24.6%; the cumulative steel import volume will be 14.268 million tons, a year-on-year decrease of 29.5%; the cumulative import of steel billets will be 13.716 million tons, a year-on-year decrease of 25.2%.

From the perspective of net exports, in 2021, the net export of crude steel will be 40.961 million tons, an increase of 24.516 million tons over the same period last year.

my country's exports of steel to ASEAN accounted for the largest proportion

The export volume increased significantly year-on-year. In recent years, the number of China's steel exports has been decreasing year by year due to the increase in international steel trade frictions and the narrowing of China's steel export price advantage. In 2020, it hit the lowest value since 2012, 53.671 million tons. Under the low base effect, in 2021, my country's steel export volume will increase by 24.6% year-on-year, and the absolute export volume will basically return to the level before the epidemic, a slight increase of 2.22 million tons compared with 2019. In the first half of 2021, China's cumulative export volume of steel was 37.384 million tons, an increase of 28.0% year-on-year. Among them, the export volume in April 2021 hit a peak since December 2016, reaching 7.973 million tons; in the second half of 2021, China's cumulative export volume of steel products It was 29.526 million tons, an increase of 18.2% year-on-year, and the monthly export volume fell to the lowest point last year for 5 consecutive months, 4.361 million tons. The year-on-year increase in export volume in 2021 is mainly due to the stronger-than-expected recovery of overseas demand, the shortage of supply, the certain price advantage of China's export resources, the export momentum of enterprises and other factors. At the same time, the cancellation of the export tax rebate policy and other promotion The export volume of steel has continued to decline.

From the perspective of export varieties, the export volume of most steel varieties increased and the average price rose. In 2021, China will export 45.081 million tons of plates, accounting for 67.4% of the total exports; 93.5% of the increase in exports comes from plates, and among the six categories, only the export volume of plates is positive compared with the same period in 2020 and 2019, and the year-on-year increases are respectively. were 37.8% and 17.1%. From the perspective of subdivided varieties, the export volume of plated panels ranks first, and the cumulative export volume in 2021 will exceed 15 million tons. The exports of cold-rolled coils and hot-rolled coils will increase significantly in 2021, increasing by 92.0% and 56.2% respectively compared with 2020, and by 66.8% and 16.1% respectively compared with 2019; the increase in exports of the two is mainly concentrated in 2021. In the first half of the year, from July 2021, the export volume decreased month by month due to policy adjustments and export self-discipline of steel enterprises. From the price point of view, the average export price of cold products is at the top and the increase is more significant, among which the export price of stainless steel products has risen significantly. The average export price of cold-rolled narrow strip in 2021 is US$3,499.6/ton, up 67.6% from 2020. Among them, the export volume and export value of cold-rolled stainless steel narrow strip accounted for 69.0% and 81.5% respectively, and the average export price was 4130.0 US dollars / ton, up 108.0% from 2020.

From the perspective of export area, my country's exports to ASEAN accounted for the largest proportion, and exports to South America increased the most. In 2021, my country will export 19.167 million tons of steel to ASEAN, a year-on-year increase of 11.0%, accounting for 28.7% of the total; 7.738 million tons of steel will be exported to South America, a year-on-year increase of 78.4%; 3.184 million will be exported to the 27 EU countries and the United Kingdom ton, a year-on-year increase of 52.4%. From June 2021, the cumulative year-on-year growth rate has changed from negative to positive and gradually expanded. Among China's top 10 steel export destinations in 2021, there are 7 Asian countries and 3 South America. Among them, the cumulative export of steel to South Korea was 7.065 million tons, ranking first; the four ASEAN countries (Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia) ranked second to fifth; exports to Brazil and Turkey increased by 171.6% and 164.6%.

In the past ten years, my country's total steel imports have remained stable

The import volume of steel has returned to the pre-epidemic level. In the past 10 years, my country's total steel imports have remained stable, especially in the past five years, the total imports have been around 13 million tons. In 2020, China's steel imports will increase significantly to 20.233 million tons due to the first recovery of domestic demand and the significant price advantage of overseas resources. In 2021, the import volume of steel will return to the average level before the epidemic, but the year-on-year decline will be more significant due to the high base benefit. Judging from the changes in imports in a single month, the import volume for the whole year of 2021 will remain stable. In 2021, the recovery of overseas demand exceeded expectations, and there was a shortage of supply, resulting in overseas steel prices higher than domestic prices, export resources flowing to high-priced regions such as Europe and the United States, and import costs significantly increasing, inhibiting the enthusiasm of domestic enterprises to import, and the annual steel import volume decreased significantly year-on-year. .

From the point of view of imported varieties, the import quantity of most varieties decreased and the price increased. In 2021, China will import a total of 9.947 million tons of plates, accounting for 69.7% of the total imports, a decrease of 38.2% from 2020. Since 2021, the average monthly import price of steel in my country has continued to climb to more than 1,500 US dollars / ton, an increase of more than 50% compared with the same period in 2020. The last time the average import price exceeded 1,500 US dollars / ton was in 2008, the import cost has increased significantly, and import speculation has increased. Enthusiasm has cooled, resulting in a significant decrease in the import volume of most varieties compared with 2020.

From the perspective of import area, my country's imports from Japan and South Korea accounted for the largest proportion. Japan and South Korea are traditional steel importers in my country. From 2010 to 2019, the import volume of these two countries accounted for an average of 73% of the total, but the import proportion has gradually declined in the past two years, reflecting that China's steel import sources are more diversified. 2021. my country imported 3.175 million tons of steel from South Korea, down 37.4% year-on-year. In 2021, ASEAN has jumped to become the second source of steel in my country, with a cumulative import volume of 3.553 million tons, an increase of 8.2% and 5.1 times compared with 2020 and 2019, respectively. The proportion of imports further increased from 16.2% in 2020 to 24.9%. It is mainly related to factors such as the increase of ASEAN steel production capacity and the price advantage of exports. The top 10 sources of imports in 2021 are concentrated in Asia and Europe. Among them, the cumulative import volume from Vietnam and Taiwan Province of China dropped significantly by 43.5% and 39.6% respectively; the cumulative import volume from Malaysia and Indonesia both exceeded 1 million tons, an increase of 13.7% and 18.6% year-on-year respectively.

Imports of primary products decreased year-on-year. From May 1, 2021, my country will implement a provisional import tax rate of 0 for a total of 20 tariff codes for primary iron and steel products such as pig iron, direct reduced iron, recycled steel raw materials, and ferrochrome. The introduction of the policy is conducive to reducing import costs, encouraging the import of primary products, expanding the channels of steel resources, and also helping to guide the industry to reduce the total energy consumption, and promote the transformation and upgrading of the industry and high-quality development. However, due to changes in domestic and foreign supply and demand, resource allocation in the global market, and market prices in 2021, most primary steel products failed to increase significantly. In 2021, my country's imports of steel billets, pig iron, direct reduced iron, and recycled steel materials will be 13.716 million tons, 1.989 million tons, 1.589 million tons, and 556,000 tons, respectively. Except for recycled steel raw materials, the import volume of other primary products is not as good as in 2020. However, there was a significant increase compared to 2019.

Affected by the accelerated recovery of the global economy, the growth rate of demand in the international steel market will also accelerate. The World Steel Association predicts that in 2022, global steel consumption will increase by another 2.2% to 1.896 billion tons on the basis of 2021. Except for China, the steel consumption of the world's major steel-producing countries is all positive growth. It is expected that the increase in global steel demand will make China Under the current conditions, it is difficult for the export of iron and steel products to drop significantly; the import of iron and steel products is affected by demand and prices, and the growth is limited. In 2022, there are still many uncertainties in the import and export trade of iron and steel products. Relevant changes and the national policy orientation under the dual constraints of resources and the environment will have an impact on the import and export of iron and steel products in my country in 2022.

"China Metallurgical News" (February 23, 2022, 7th edition, 7th edition)

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