Steel stock in 20 Chinese cities was 12.72mn mt in early June, down by 3pc from late May. Inventories dropped by 37.1pc from March this year, according to China Iron and Steel Association.
Steel downstream industries in the country were on the path to recovery since March. China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) also improved by 16.3 percentage points from February to 52 in March. The index rose in the month, rose by 3 points from the year prior. Manufacturing activity has continued to recover ever since.
China was the first country to report COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year. Despite the pandemic, steel production in the country was largely unaffected. Downstream demand, however, came to a standstill amid movement restrictions levied.
With the rainy season commencing in the southern region, construction in the area has slowed down thus impacting the steel demand. Steel stock is likely to rise in the near term as steel production is expected to outpace demand.