Chinese Steel Output Continues to Rise, Prices Continue to Fall

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China’s steel output continues to rise and prices of steel products have kept falling, underlining difficulties to ease overcapacity in the sector, according to data from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) reported by China’s Shanghai Daily.

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Crude steel production gained 2.7 percent year on the year to reach 271.86 million tons in the first four months of the year, the NDRC said in an online report. During the January-April period, the steel price index came in at 95.97, down 9.78 percentage points from the same period last year, according to the NDRC.

Notably, exports jumped 29 percent year on year to 25.87 million tonnes as producers cut prices to boost trade in the industry that is still reeling from overcapacity.

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Chinese steel prices were flat for the day. The price of iron ore 58% fines from India hit a high price of CNY 840.00 ($134.66) and a low price of CNY 830.00 ($133.06) per dry metric ton. Chinese HRC held its value last Friday at CNY 3,380 ($541.84) per metric ton. The price of Chinese coking coal remained essentially flat at CNY 1,390 ($222.83) per metric ton.

The steel billet cash price saw little movement on the LME at $390.00 per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the steel billet 3-month price remained essentially flat on the LME at $400.00 per metric ton.

The 3-month price of the US HRC futures contract held steady last Friday, remaining around $623.00 per short ton. The US HRC futures contract spot price continues hovering around $685.00 per short ton for the fifth day in a row.

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