Hike in Steel output may cap Steel price in China


SHANGHAI (Scrap Register): In coming months Steel prices in China are unlikely to rise by much, as the market was set to remain oversupplied due to rising production, according to the China Iron & Steel Association (CISA).

China's crude steel output totaled 76.7 million mt in April, up 4.8% year on year. Daily crude steel production hit a record high of 2.56 million mt in the month, up 7.1% from March. However, this significant rise in output was likely to add downward pressure to prices going forward.

Steel mills ramped up production in April for the spring peak demand season, when profit margins were healthy. However the outlook for growth in property and infrastructure construction was slow for rest of the year and this may suppress steel demand going forward.

China's domestic composite steel price index, comprising both long and flat products, retreated slightly in the second week of May after rising steadily from end March to the first week of May.

Steel stocks remain relatively high despite falling for the consecutive sixth week last week.

Stocks held by traders totaled 12.71 million mt last Friday, down 5.28 million mt or 29.4% from end March, but up 4.77 million mt or 60.1% from the start of this year and up 1.37 million mt or 12.1% from a year earlier.

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