China's steel prices rose 0.4% compared with last week during May 11-17. The prices of ordinary medium plates, welded steel pipes and hot-rolled strips ticked up 0.6%, 0.6% and 0.5% week on week to 3,981 yuan/t ($568.7/t), 4,129 yuan/t and 3,916 yuan/t respectively, according to data from the Ministry of Commerce.
In the first quarter, prices of channel steel, high-speed wire rods, hot-rolled strips and rebar tumbled by 130 yuan/t, 143 yuan/t, 138 yuan/t and 194 yuan/t. The reduction reached 3.2%, 3.5%, 3.4% and 4.9% respectively.
Despite severe hit by COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter, China's steel industry has been gradually recovering from April.
As of the end of April 2020, steel stocks at key steel mills declined 15.45% from mid-April to 14.73 million tonnes. The steel stocks remained 5.20 million tonnes or 54.51% higher from the beginning of the year.
Steel prices are projected to trend upward in the near term, yet the upward momentum may not be sustainable amid continuous high steel inventories and expected off-peak demand in June, according to the Ministry of Commerce.
(Writing by Shengnan Liu Editing by Jessie Jia)
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