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China steel prices still face headwinds: Industry body

Published on Nov 14, 2012 12:54 PM
A stainless steel product line is seen at a factory of Baosteel Group Corp., China's biggest steel maker, in Shanghai, in this Jul 6, 2010 file photo. -- PHOTO : REUTERS

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - A recent rally in steel prices in China, the world's top steel market, may lose steam as overcapacity continues to eat into steelmakers' margins, offsetting a recent drop in inventories, the China Iron & Steel Association (CISA) said on Wednesday.

Total inventories of five main steel products including hot-rolled coil and rebar in 26 major markets fell 2.8 per cent from the end of October to 12.08 million tonnes on November 9, CISA said in a statement on its website.

"Rising fixed asset investment in the fourth quarter will lift demand for steel," CISA said, referring to increased investment in railway and other infrastructure construction, but warned that cold weather in the northern regions and growing supplies will weigh on steel rebar prices.

Rebar prices have jumped as much as 16 per cent from their lows in September due to a seasonal pickup in demand.

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