MySteel Global – China’s rebar output cools down, demand robust

Rebar output among the 137 Chinese producers surveyed by Mysteel including integrated mills and re-rollers retreated over October 29-November 4 after the short-lived recovery over the prior week, with the tonnage falling by 1.1% on week to 3.59 million tonnes, according to Mysteel’s latest weekly survey.

The retreat in rebar output was mainly attributed to more domestic mills undertaking routine maintenance during that period. Over October 29-November 4, the rebar rolling capacity utilization rate among the 137 sampled mills reversed down accordingly by 0.9 percentage point on week to reach 78.8%, the survey showed.

Domestic demand for long steel remained robust over the past week, as general contractors accelerated their pace of construction when the weather in most regions of China was still pleasant for doing building work out of doors.

“Although demand (for construction steel) in northern China has shown some signs of contraction recently, long steel consumption in eastern and southern China has increased further,” a market source in Shanghai commented.

Mysteel’s daily survey among the 237 sampled trading houses across China showed that the daily trading volume of construction steel including rebar, wire rod and bar-in-coil averaged 252,381 tonnes/day over October 29-November 4, making for an on-week gain of 9,852 t/d or 4.1%, according to Mysteel data.

Rebar stocks held by both steel mills and traders emptied further over the survey period, thanks to the firm demand from end-users, Mysteel Global noted. Over October 29-November 4, rebar stocks at the 137 mills decreased for the fourth week to 2.8 million tonnes, losing another 8.8% on week and touching a nine-month low. 

Those at traders’ warehouses in the 132 Chinese cities Mysteel checks slipped by another 8.1% on week to 8.9 million tonnes as of November 5, according to Mysteel’s survey.

The better demand overall boosted sentiment in the domestic steel market and encouraged Chinese steel mills and traders to lift their offering prices to give their profit margins a welcome boost.

As of November 5, the national price of HRB 400 20mm dia rebar, a bellwether of domestic steel-market sentiment, had moved up continuously to Yuan 3,935/tonne ($596/t) including the 13% VAT, jumping by Yuan 97/t from one week earlier, Mysteel’s data showed.

(Written by Nancy Zheng, zhengmm@mysteel.com; Edited by Russ McCulloch, russ.mcculloch@mysteel.com)

Table 1: Mysteel Rebar Production Survey by Region on November 4 (Unit: ’000 tonnes)

Table 2: Mysteel Wire Rod Production Survey by Region on November 4 (Unit: ‘000 tonnes)

Table 3: Mysteel Rebar Production Survey by Process on November 4 (Unit: ‘000 tonnes)

Table 4: Mysteel Wire Rod Production Survey by Process on November 4 (Unit: ‘000 tonnes)

Table 5: Mysteel Rebar and Wire Rod Stocks Survey by Region on November 4 (Unit: ‘000 tonnes)

Table 6: Mysteel Rebar and Wire Rod Stocks Survey by Process on November 4 (Unit: ‘000 tonnes)

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