The five major steel items comprise rebar, wire rod, hot-rolled coil, cold-rolled coil and medium plate. The further on-week decrease was mainly reflected in the inventories of long steel products, with the volume of rebar and wire rod lower by 106,400 tonnes and 63,700 tonnes respectively from the previous week, the survey showed.
Transactions in the physical market recovered somewhat this week, mainly thanks to steady demand from end-users. March and April are usually the peak months for steel consumption in China with most regions experiencing pleasant weather.
Over March 23-29, the daily trading volume of construction steel comprising rebar, wire rod and bar-in-coil among the 237 Chinese trading houses under Mysteel's regular tracking reached 171,786 tonnes/day on average, higher by 18,286 t/d or 12% from the prior week.
Meanwhile, speculative demand also improved this week with the better performance of the futures market, Mysteel Global noted.
As of March 30, the most-traded rebar contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange for delivery in October closed the daytime trading session at Yuan 4,127/tonne ($600/t), gaining Yuan 60/t from the settlement price on March 23.
Steel prices in the physical market also recovered slightly, with the national spot price of HRB400E 20mm dia rebar, a bellwether of domestic steel-market sentiment under Mysteel's assessment, reaching Yuan 4,275/t including the 13% VAT on Thursday, strengthening for a third day though still lower by Yuan 2/t on week.
Inventories of the five steel products at commercial warehouses in the 132 Chinese cities under Mysteel's regular survey declined again to reach 23.3 million tonnes over March 24-30, down another 2.2% from one week before, the survey showed.
Chinese mills' steel production increased steadily this week, with the total volume among the sampled steelmakers growing for the tenth week to a five-month high of 9.7 million tonnes over March 23-29, higher by 1.5% on week, Mysteel's survey indicated.