Worldsteel reported Chinese crude steel production at 67.5 million metric tonnes in October, 0.3% lower than in October 2013 based on revised figures for October 2013. However, compared to previously reported October 2013 figures, output rose 3.7%. January-October crude steel production for 2014 was 2.2% higher than in the same period last year (compared to revised 2013 figures).

China’s net finished steel exports (exports – imports) in October were again a record at 7.5 million tonnes, which is 90% higher than in October 2013. Year-to-October net finished steel exports were 53% higher in 2014 than in 2013.

China monthly crude steel production October 2004 to October 2014
thousand metric tonnes

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Worldsteel published October’s global crude steel production on November 20th. World crude steel production was 136.7 million metric tonnes, with no change compared to October 2013. Production for the months of January to October 2014 were 2.2% higher than in the same period last year.

China accounted for 49% of world production in October with output of 67.5 million tonnes, down 0.3% on October last year. Elsewhere in Asia, Indian production was up 8.5% on 2013, South Korean production up 4.5%, but Japanese output down 1.7%. Production in the European Union 28 countries was up 1.5% year-on-year, with France increasing output by 15.0%, and despite a 5.9% fall in Germany and a 5.4% drop in Italy. Output in the CIS region was down 6.3% following a 1.6% increase in Russia and a 28.7% drop in the Ukraine. US production was down 0.7% between October 2013 and October 2014, and NAFTA as a whole showed an increase of 0.3%.

All the data for October 2014 and for a number of prior years can be found in the Nerds spreadsheet below.

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Based on reported import licenses, US long products imports rose 16% from 398,000 short tons in September to 462,000 tons in October. October 2014 longs imports were 54% higher than in October 2013 and January-to-October longs imports were 23% higher than in the same period last year.

The rise in October was mainly due to higher rebar and parallel flange sections imports. Rebar imports increased by almost 40% due mostly to higher volumes from Turkey. Parallel flange sections rose by about 60% with increased tons from a number of countries including Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, Luxembourg and Japan.

Long products licenses for November as reported November 18th were 272,000 tons, which is likely to mean that full-month November imports will be about the same as October’s.

SIMA US long products imports licenses and imports actuals
2012 to 2014

short tons

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Based on reported import licenses, and after a rise of about 20% between August and September, US flat products imports increased 13% from 1,387,000 short tons in September to 1,566,000 tons in October. Flat products imports in October 2013 were 806,000 tons and in October 2012 they were 736,000 tons. Flats imports for the first ten months of 2014 were 65% higher than in the same period of 2013.

Imports of all flat products categories rose in October. However, a rise in hot roll imports accounted for close to 70% of the climb, with the increase from a number of countries including Japan, Brazil, Italy, Australia, and Korea.

I will update the chart below to show mid-November licenses data when the figures are published the week of November 17th.

SIMA US import licenses and actuals, flat products
October 2011 to October 2014

short tons

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In its latest Short Range Outlook (SRO), published October 6th, Worldsteel revised its world apparent steel use (ASU) growth forecast for 2014 and 2015 downward. The revision decreased estimated world ASU growth between 2013 and 2014 from 3.1% in its April Short Range Outlook to 2.0% in the recent published figures. It also decreased the estimated growth between 2014 and 2015 from 3.3% in its April SRO to 2.0%.

However, since Worldsteel revised world ASU in 2013 from 1,481 million metric tonnes in its April SRO to 1,531 million tonnes in its October SRO (mostly due to higher Chinese ASU), even with lower growth between 2013 and 2015, world ASU will reach 1,594 million tonnes in 2015, higher than the previously forecast 1,576 million tonnes.

China’s apparent steel use between 2013 and 2014 is now expected to grow by 1.0% rather than by 3.0% and by 0.8% between 2014 and 2015 instead of by by 2.7%. For the rest of the world, the revision downward was smaller; ASU growth between 2013 and 2014 will be 3.0% instead of 3.1% and between 2014 and 2015 it will be 3.2% instead of 3.7%. In only two regions was growth expected to be higher than the earlier forecast; EU steel consumption between 2013 and 2014 is likely to grow by 4.0% instead of by 3.1% and in the same period NAFTA ASU growth will be 6.4% instead of by 3.8%.

See the spreadsheet below for Worldsteel 2014 and 2015 growth estimates together with all the Worldsteel Short Range Outlook figures over the last few years.

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Worldsteel reported Chinese crude steel production at 67.5 million tonnes in September, exactly the same as in September 2013 but 1.3% higher on an average daily basis compared to August 2014. Janaury-to-September crude steel production for 2014 was 2.5% higher than in the same period last year.

China’s net finished steel exports (exports-imports) in September were a record high at 7.2 million tonnes, which is almost double September 2013’s net exports. 7.2 million tonnes accounts for an 11% share of crude steel production, compared to an average 6% in 2012 when were started calculating the data. Year-to-September net finished steel exports were 49% higher in 2014 than in 2013.

China monthly crude steel production Sept 2004 to Sept 2014

thousand metric tonnes

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Worldsteel published September’s global crude steel production on October 21st. World crude steel production was 134.4 million metric tonnes, 0.1% lower than in September 2013. Production for the months of January to September 2014 were 2.4% higher than in the same period last year.

China accounted for 50% of world crude steel production in September with output of 67.5 million tonnes, unchanged from September last year. Asian production for all reporting countries showed a 0.9% increase compared to September 2013, though South Korean production rose 10% and Taiwanese production rose 12% year-on-year. Production in the European Union 28 countries fell 1.7% and production in North America rose 1.1%, with US production flat. The CIS region showed the largest change, down 6.8% compared to September 2013, with Russian production up 6% and Ukrainian production down 37%.

All the data for September 2014 and for a number of prior years can be found in the Nerds spreadsheet below.

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Based on reported import licenses, US long products imports remained essentially flat between August and September, falling 1% from 378,000 short tons in August to 374,000 tons in September. September 2014 imports were 4% higher than in September 2014 and January-to-September 2014 imports were 19% higher than in the same period last year.

Compared to August, rebar imports in September fell by about 30% due to lower volumes mainly from Turkey and Spain, and despite higher imports from a number of other countries including Peru and Portugal. In contrast, wire rod imports rose by about 30%.

I will update the chart below to show mid-October license data when the figures are published the week of October 20th.

SIMA US long products import licenses and import actuals
2012 to 2014

short tons

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