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Home > MEPS Steel News - 07.01.2013

CHINA’S FINISHED STEEL DEMAND HOLDS UP IN 2012

MEPS predicts that Chinese mill output of finished steel for sale in 2012 will climb to 706 million tonnes – up 6.8 percent, year on year. Apparent consumption is expected to expand by 5.7 percent to reach 680 million tonnes.

The majority of increased demand has come from the construction sector – building of affordable homes, some real estate activity and investment in new railway projects. This has resulted in strong activity for the supply of hot rolled long products.

Statistics show that reinforcing bar consumption will rise by 16 percent in 2012 compared to the figure in the previous year. Double digit gains will occur in the wire rod segment. Solid growth will also be seen for structural sections.

In contrast, the flat rolled products sector, as a whole, will report only modest growth. This is, mainly due to the collapse in demand for new ships – creating lower requirement for steel plates. The market for hot rolled coil and coated sheets, used in the construction industry, held up quite well, throughout most of 2012.

MEPS forecasts a similar pattern developing in 2013. All the signals from the new government are that future investment policies will be similar to those in the recent past. Urbanisation and infrastructure investment are likely to be the main platforms for growth.

The steel companies are expected to maintain a strong positive balance of trade in steel products in 2013. The figure will turn out to be near 20 million tonnes in 2012. A similar figure is anticipated in the following year.

Source: MEPS China Steel Review -
December 2012 Issue

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