Feb. 21, 2024

China's Total Steel Demand Will Remain Stable and Increase in 2023

According to preliminary calculations by the National Bureau of Statistics, GDP in 2023 (calculated at constant prices) will increase by 5.2% over the previous year. Looking at the quarters, GDP increased by 4.5% year-on-year in the first quarter, 6.3% in the second quarter, 4.9% in the third quarter, and 5.2% in the fourth quarter. It basically showed a positive rebound trend. China's macro economy will rebound for the better in 2023. Under this general pattern, the total demand for China's steel products, including black series products, has shown steady growth.


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First, the scale of fixed asset investment continues to increase. According to statistics, national fixed asset investment (excluding rural households) will increase by 3.0% in 2023 compared with the previous year; excluding the impact of price factors, the increase will be 6.4% based on physical volume. Although investment in real estate development will fall by 9.6% in 2023, because the decision-making departments have strengthened countercyclical adjustments and increased investment in areas of shortcomings, infrastructure investment will increase by 5.9% throughout the year, and manufacturing investment will increase by 6.5%, ultimately ensuring The overall investment scale has continued to expand, and the demand for steel products in this field has continued to increase.


Secondly, the export momentum of steel products is very strong. In China's total steel demand structure in 2023, export momentum is very strong. According to customs statistics, the country will export 90.264 million tons of steel in 2023, an increase of 36.2% over the previous year.


China's total steel demand will increase steadily in 2023, which will ultimately drive an increase in iron ore imports through the release of steel and finished product production capacity. According to statistics, in 2023, the country's crude steel output was 1,019.08 million tons, the same year-on-year increase; pig iron output was 871.01 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 0.7%; steel output was 1,362.68 million tons, a year-on-year increase of 5.2%; the country imported iron ore and its concentrates 1,179.06 million tons, an increase of 6.6% over the previous year.


According to statistics from the China Iron and Steel Industry Association, the steel inventory of key steel companies across the country in early January 2024 was 14.3945 million tons, a year-on-year decrease of 3.31%. This shows that the new resources of steel and black series products nationwide in 2023 have been fully digested, and the inventory pressure on the market in the beginning of spring is not very great.

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