In the first half of 2023, China market demand for seamless steel pipes is weak inside and strong outside
For a period of time, China's total steel demand has shown a pattern of internal weakness and external strength. In the first half of this year, this situation continued to exist.
Steel exports are growing strongly. Customs statistics show that in the first four months of this year, the country exported 28.014 million tons of steel products, a year-on-year increase of 55%. It is estimated that the export volume of steel products in the first half of the year will exceed 40 million tons, an increase of more than 30% year-on-year. Over the same period, the indirect export of steel products also increased by a large margin. Customs statistics show that in the first four months of this year, the country's electromechanical output and exports increased by 10.5% year-on-year, accounting for 57.9% of the total export value. In particular, the export of automobiles, ships, construction machinery, and manufacturing equipment, which consume a lot of steel, has increased significantly. According to statistics from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, the country exported 1.37 million vehicles from January to April this year, a year-on-year increase of 89.2%. Among them, 376,000 vehicles were exported in April, a year-on-year increase of 1.7 times, and the export volume of new energy vehicles increased by 8.4 times year-on-year. It is estimated that my country's automobile export volume may approach 5 million in 2023, becoming the world's largest automobile exporting country.
Domestic consumer demand was weaker than expected. Due to the introduction of a series of measures to stabilize growth, the market previously had higher expectations for domestic steel consumption in the first half of this year, but statistics show that the actual domestic steel demand in the first half of the year was significantly lower than expected. From the perspective of domestic steel consumption-related indicators, in the first four months of this year, the added value of industrial enterprises above designated size increased by 3.6% year-on-year, and fixed asset investment (excluding rural households) increased by 4.7% year-on-year, both of which are in a moderate growth trend. Especially in the important areas of domestic steel consumption, real estate investment has not yet reversed the decline. According to statistics, the national real estate development investment in the first four months of this year fell by 6.2% year-on-year, of which, residential investment was 2,707.2 billion yuan, a decrease of 4.9%. By the end of April, the area of commercial housing for sale across the country increased by 15.7% year-on-year. Among them, the residential area for sale increased by 15.4%.
According to the calculation data of the Iron and Steel Research Center, the apparent consumption of domestic crude steel in the first four months of this year fell by 0.3% year-on-year, while the output of crude steel maintained a growth rate of 4.1% in the same period. Among them, in April, due to the decline in the restoration of the macro economy, the level of domestic crude steel consumption was lower. It is expected that this situation will not change in the first half of the year.
Judging from the operation of the above-mentioned related indicators, the start-up stage of domestic Seamless Steel Pipe consumption has passed, and is currently in the repair stage, but its repair foundation is still not solid, and there may be repetitions. Therefore, more and more vigorous measures to stabilize growth are needed. Introduced, especially in real estate investment and housing sales.