In August this year, China imported 2.24 million mt of finished steel, down 14.04 percent month on month from the record 2.6 million mt achieved in July, according to the Chinese customs authorities. Nevertheless, this was up significantly compared to steel imports of 970,000 mt in August last year. Buyers in China were still interested in purchases of imported finished steel, HRC in particular, in June, when most deals for August shipment were done, amid the firm trend in the local market.
These figures do not include semi-finished imports, and so the overall steel import volumes were even bigger and China will likely remain a net steel importer in September, before import volumes will ease closer to the end of the year.
China imported 12.189 million mt of finished steel during the January-August period of the current year, increasing by 59.6 percent year on year, 10.3 percentage points higher than the increase rate in the first seven months of the year.