red   China's Steel Export Reaches 8 MT Level in May
    China's export quantity of steel products in May released on 8th by the General Administration of China Customs was 8,070,000 tonnes which became the level of 8 million tonnes for the first time. Japan's export quantity of ordinary steel products in January to April was 8,603,000 per tonne while China's export quantity was close to this level only for one month. Much had been made of its export quantity of 7,540,000 per tonne in the previous month which was the 2nd highest level but that in May exceeded as many as by 530,000 per tonne.
It increased by 7.0% from the previous month and largely by 49.2% from the same month last year. Its cumulative export quantity in January to May was 33,940,000 per tonne up 33.6% from the same period last year. Its export quantity at annualized rate in the calendar 2014 is on a pace of nearly 85 million tonnes. China's crude steel production per day was 2,295,000 per tonne in April which exceeded 2,266,000 per tonne in the previous month. Its demand seems to be expected to some extent partly due to the Government's economic policy. Nevertheless, excess production is likely to have been diverted to export.
Despite of so much quantity of steel products having been exported, the overseas market prices have not collapsed although they will not rise. As China's export destination is decentralized worldwide and does not center on ceratin regions or areas, the market prices are seen to be maintained even at a low level. While, its import quantity of steel products in May was 1,220,000 per tonne down 6.2% from the previous month which turned into a decrease for the first time in 3 months and down 2.4% from the same month last year. Its cumulative import quantity in January May was 6,114,000 per tonne up 6.3% from the same period last year.
red   China Iron Ore Production may Scale New Peak
    Production of iron ore in China, the world's biggest consumer of the key steelmaking ingredient, will climb to a record this year as bigger mines open adding to a global glut that's depressing prices. Mr Shi Zhenglei a Shanghai based analyst with said,“Output of low grade, unprocessed iron ore may rise 5.6% to 1.52 billion tonnes this year. That's about 400 million tonnes of seaborne equivalent.” Mr Shi said , “The potential extra production from China comes even as iron ore entered a bear market in March and fell below USD 100 last month for the first time since 2012 as top miners including Rio Tinto Limited and BHP Billiton Limited expanded output. An increase in Chinese iron ore output would weigh on prices and boost steel mills' bargaining power over imports.” He said , "Larger mines are usually owned by steelmakers so production is mostly for their own need. Although mining is money-losing at current prices, they have to put the new mines into operation to achieve cash flow because they've spent a lot on the construction work."
According to the Steel Index Limited, ore with 62% content delivered to the port of Tianjin declined 0.7% to USD 90.90 per dry ton on June 13, the lowest level since September 2012. Prices lost 3.8% and retreated in eight of the past nine weeks. Mr Shi said that Chinese iron ore typically contains half or less of the iron content found in ore from Australia, the world's top shipper. China's raw ore has an average iron content of 26% compared with the global benchmark of 62% iron. Mr Paul Gray steel and iron ore markets analyst at Wood Mackenzie Limited said , “An oversupply of iron ore may last until 2020. Wood Mackenzie forecasts an average iron ore price of USD 101 a ton in the H2 of 2014 and USD 98 per tonne in 2015.” Morgan Stanley reduced its estimate for average iron ore prices to USD 105 per tonne this year from an earlier forecast of USD 118 in May. Prices may average about USD 90 per tonne in 2015, a drop of 21% from an earlier estimate.
red   Tokyo Steel Ups Scrap Purchase Prices by JPY 500 at Utsunomiya Works
    Japan's Tokyo Steel Mfg Company has increased what the company pays for locally available ferrous scrap by a uniform JPY 500 per tonne for all grades at its Utsunomiya works, effective with June 12 arrivals. As a result, the new delivered price of No2 HMS is JPY 32,500 per tonne for overland arrivals there. The company's purchase prices of local ferrous scrap remain unchanged at its other facilities. The delivered prices of No2 HMS are; JPY 33,000 per tonne for seaborne and overland arrivals at the Tahara works; JPY 32,500 per tonne for seaborne and overland arrivals at the Okayama works; JPY 33,500 per tonne seaborne and overland arrivals at the Kyushu works; and JPY 31,500 per tonne for seaborne and overland arrivals at the Takamatsu steel center.
red   Chinese Steel Mills in Tangshan to Slash Steel Output by 22 MT
    Steel production in Tangshan, Hebei, China has been slashed by 22 million tonnes in a bid to fight against the air pollution and the issue of oversupply as the steel mills in Tangshan area accounts for the half of production capacity in China. On the other hands, Tangshan Iron and Steel Group (Tangsteel), the major steel mill in Tangshan, signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement with German technology giant Siemens Limited on an energy saving and environmental protection cooperation. Tangshan is famous for its industrial output that generates air pollution from the production of steel, cement, coking coal and electric power. The plan is to cut iron making and crude steel production capacity by 28 million tonnes and 40 million tonnes respectively.
red   Taigang Stainless Cuts Export Prices
    Chinese steel giant Taigang Stainless announced to cut its export prices for 304 grade stainless coils by USD 150 per tonne for deliveries until end August due to falling nickel prices. After the price cut, its export prices for 304 grades hot rolled coils with thickness of 3mm and cold rolled coils with thickness of 2mm are at USD 2,970 per tonne and USD 3,100 per tonne FOB China respectively. Besides, it's learned that Baosteel Stainless announced to cut its export prices for austenitic stainless coils export prices by USD 200 per tonne , in order to reflect weak nickel prices.
red   Ansteel Iron Raises Domestic Prices of HR Coils by CNY 80 for July Shipment
    According to information obtained by a source, Anshan Iron & Steel (Ansteel) of China seems to have noticed on 17th its domestic prices of steel products for July shipment to each customer. According to this, the company raised its prices of hot rolled steel coils by CNY 80 and left unchanged those of cold rolled steel sheets, grain oriented electrical steel sheets and so on. Those of steel plates and wire rods are uncertain at present. Among Chinese major mills, Baoshan Iron & Steel and Wuhan Iron & Steel set out July prices in the past, and both companies left those of HR coils unchanged. While, Ansteel did not leave them unchanged and took a step to raise them.
Against the backdrop, it is said that there is the fact for distributors' inventory in May in China to have decreased by 30% prom the same month last year while done by 45% in the district of Anshan. Especially, it is reported that inventory of plates was lessened further. Accordingly, supply of HR coils might be in a state to be tightened at least temporarily. The mill source is observing that for this reason, there is a possibility for Ansteel to have taken a step to raise its prices. If Benxi Iron & Steel in the same district raises its prices, contrary to expectation, the environment of HR coils is likely to be able to be tightened. The Chinese market prices of HR coils remain on a slow decline amid the fact that blast furnace mills left their prices unchanged. As the Governmental comes up with economic measures, by Ansteel's price increase, a slow decline is expected to be stopped. In the export market, it is said that so called 2nd and 3rd class mills of China reduced their offer prices of HR coils by USD 5 USD 15 for July shipment in negotiations for the remote regions like Middle East and Central and South America. Among them, there are many northern mills, so if domestic prices rise, such mills are seen to shift export to the domestic market, and if Chinese mills withdraw from export, export prices will not collapse and become possible of levelling off. In any case, the Japanese mills are feeling confused as they did not foresee Ansteel's price increase of HR coils. The time comes soon for the Japanese mills to enter into negotiations on HR coils for Asia for July shipment, and they are in a stance to wait and see.
    This section is a compilation from various company press releases, business dailies &
trade publications.