The ferrous complex was mixed on July 13, 2021 as spot prices fell and paper firmed overnight. Steel has not updated:
The big news was Chinese trade data for June which was very weak in terms of iron ore imports for the second straight month at 89.42mt:
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This is pretty strange data. Sure, volumes are up 2.8% year on year for H1. But on a six-month sequential basis, imports are down 10% in H1 versus H2 ’20. This pattern is typical but not the scale of the drop amid huge price increases.
It goes to show that restricted supply is still the major story in the iron ore market.
Also odd was the rebound in Chinese steel exports 6.46mt:
Clearly, Chinese steel is still competitive despite the cancellation of export rebates. Expect more export tariffs in the near future to help reduce steel output.
Nothing much here to change my outlook. Strong pricing for a few more months then down into Q4.