Stainless Steel Market Summary in China: The Feedback of the First Season of 2020

17% less! Stainless steel feedback of the first season of 2020 arrives.  

With the launch of the import and export data of stainless steel in March by the customs official, coming along with the general situation of the first season, let’s check it out.

Demand burst, resulting in a 25% increase in export.

In March, the domestic exporting volume is about 367.9 thousand tons, increasing by 24.7% compared to last March. The exporting volume of the first season of 2020 is around 810 thousand tons which YOY increases by 1.6%. 

Seeing form the data of March which has good feedback, the reason is that the exporting orders were determined before the Chinese spring festival and affected by the pandemic, the orders were postponed to March. On the other hand, March and April are two peak months that every year at the same time, the stainless steel export increases.   

Exporting to Korea and Vietnam goes up.

In March, stainless steel exporting to Korea is about 70 thousand tons, increasing by 39% compared to the same period of last year. From January to March, the total amount is 142 thousand tons, YOY increases by 20.2%.   

Exporting to Korea in March is 19.5 thousand tons more than last March. The coil exporting volume is approximately 63 thousand tons, 19.3 thousand tons more than March of 2019 and the rising percentage is 44.3%. The cold-rolled stainless steel increases by 18.1 thousand tons and the cold-rolled plate(1mm≤thickness≤3mm, width≥600mm) export increases by 11 thousand tons.

It is not surprising that the export to Korea rose under a worldwide descending situation because Korea has controlled and handled well with the coronavirus. 

In March, stainless steel exporting to Vietnam is around 45 thousand tons, YOY increasing by 48.6%; from January to March, the total amount is 84 thousand tons which is 28.5% more than the same period of last year.

As for the export to Vietnam, the data of March hits the new highest point in the recent five years. It is out of the reason that after May 31st, the Vietnam market will rise the requirement on 201 series which must be in line with the international standard. Moreover, 201 series rebound its price, and all the orders and stocks have to stop declaring the customs after May 31st, so it is reasonable that the orders are crowded before the deadline.


Exporting orders for May and June is to be affecting greatly. 

For now, people are concerning the domestic stainless steel export influenced by the pandemic 

For this, several large stainless steel exporters expressed that the pandemic outbreaks in March and April, so the influence on the domestic exporting orders of March is limited. But when it comes to April, the decrease begins to show up and to May and June, the order amount will appear under a prominent cut. 

We also knew something from our clients about the market at the beginning of April that the overseas market has been shrinking because of the pandemic. For the moment, the market relies on the orders that were dealt with earlier. It is not difficult to assume that the exporting order has been lessening. 

Moreover, because the overseas order is signed one or two months in advance in most cases. The pandemic went serious in April, leading to the shutdown of ports, blocking the transportation, so the most influenced are the orders of May and June.

The demand has not turned well. Consumption in March YOY decreased by 17.5%.

With the release of the customs data of stainless steel, the actual consumption of March is known to all.  

According to the statistics, the domestic actual consumption of stainless steel in March is around 1,611 thousand tons, YOY decreasing by 17.5%; from January to March, the actual consumption is 3,038 thousand tons, YOY cutting down by 798 thousand tons, knocking off 16.7%.

The import decreased while the export increased. The actual consumption of March is lower than the expectation.  


Analyzed from the data, although most clients said that the sales of March are not bad, it is not reason enough to regard that the demand returns.

Exporting data is sourced from China Customs.

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