SMM data showed that China’s imports of stainless steel stood at 272,500 mt in September, down 12.1% month-on-month (MoM), but up 12.7% year-on-year (YoY). Imports from Indonesia stood at 229,900 mt, down 15.5% on the month, but up 16.9% on the year. China’s imports from Indonesia remained at more than 80% of total imports. Among them, the import volume of cold-rolled coils, hot-rolled coils, and other semi-finished products decreased month-on-month. AEON’s cold-rolled coil project in Indonesia has been put into production, and Ruipu still gets a certain amount of cold-rolled products. Both of them quoted domestic prices in November. However, Tsingshan’s overseas orders are relatively slack. SMM believes that the imports of Indonesia cold-rolled coils will increase MoM in October.
SMM data showed that China exported 361,600 mt of stainless steel in September, down 9.5% MoM and 24% YoY. India is still the largest export market, and the export volume to the country increased month-on-month, accounting for 14.1% of the total export volume; exports to Southeast Asia such as Vietnam and Thailand also rose; while exports to European countries decreased significantly due to the slack demand in Europe. In terms of product types, the export volume of coils, narrow strips, extrusion, and pipes all decreased, and only stainless steel products grew amid the better demand. In September, the global stainless steel demand was sluggish, but the demand from Southeast Asia may be stable. SMM expects the export volume to be normal in October.