China’s Steel Exports Surge to a Record in September

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China’s Steel Exports Surge to a Record in SeptemberChina’s steel exports touched the strongest level ever in September after mills opted for international markets in order to compensate for declining demand in the saturated local markets.

Exports rose 73 percent from a year ago to 8.52 million metric tons and up 9.8 percent from a month earlier. Exports in the first three quarters of 2014 jumped to 65.3 million tons, an increase of 39 percent from the previous year, the customs administration report showed.

Local steel prices in China plunged at least 15 percent owing to oversupply and declining demand. Iron ore prices dropped 40 percent in 2014 and hit the lowest level in five years in September.

“Steel mills looked to the overseas markets as an outlet for its products as the industry was mired in an overcapacity and weakening domestic demand,” said Zheng Yuesheng, a customs agency spokesman during the release of the report on Monday.

Iron ore imports grew 13 percent to 84.69 million tons last month, the most since January. This was also the second-highest import volume on record. Imports of steel products increased 16 percent to 1.36 million tons.

In China, which accounts for nearly half the world’s steel production, spot prices of steel reinforcement bar fell 17 percent since January to steady at 2,957 yuan per ton.

Meanwhile, Brazilian economists boosted their projections for inflation and growth in 2014 despite the central bank retaining its benchmark interest rate at its strongest level in over two years, reports Bloomberg News.

Analysts expect the economy to expand 0.28 percent this year, a recent central bank poll of around 100 economists showed, up from 0.24 percent a year earlier. The analysts expect inflation to be 6.45 percent this year from the previous estimate of 6.32 percent. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.

To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com