Where are Chinese steel exports heading into 2024?

Looking at 2023, steel exports from China rose +35% YoY to a 7-year high at 91Mt.

China Exports Steel Products

Although 2023 echoed the years 2015-2016 and the deep economic challenges faced by China and the world then, last year’s exports remained -19% below 2015’s record, despite crude steel output in China growing +27% to 1.02Bt in 2023.

Despite similarly troubled real-estate sectors, the exports/output ratio for steel in 2023 remained just under 9% compared to 14% in 2015, point at China having diversified its economy. Whilst it remains to be seen in 2024 if the flurry of plans aiming at stimulating both China’s property markets and its macroeconomic environment will work, the competition for exports of manufactured products, such as vehicles (+57% YoY) or white goods (up +10% to +40%), will certainly rise to unprecedented level.

May you live in interesting times, welcome to the year of the Dragon!

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