China demand drives US HBI exports

  • Wednesday, September 09, 2020
  • Source:ferro-alloys.com

  • Keywords:China demand, US HBI exports
[Fellow]US exports of hot-briquetted iron (HBI) continued to shift toward China in July to meet increased demand for metallics from the world's leading steelmaker.
[Ferro-Alloys.comUS exports of hot-briquetted iron (HBI) continued to shift toward China in July to meet increased demand for metallics from the world's leading steelmaker.
 
The US exported 133,000t of HBI in July, with 89,000t heading to China, as offshore demand outpaced lower domestic steel mill utilization rates, according to US Commerce data. July's export total increased sharply from June, when the US exported 49,000t, all to China, and July 2019, when it shipped 38,000t, primarily to Mexico.
 
Year to date, HBI exports have surged by 64pc to 821,000t as China emerged as the dominant buyer from the US. The US has exported 360,000t to China so far in 2020 after shipping none in 2019. China has become a sudden major player in the seaborne HBI and basic pig iron markets as it searches for metallic units amid surging iron ore costs and as it maxes out steel production following Covid-19-related shutdowns.
 
The US also exported 44,000t of HBI to Turkey in July, bringing its year-to-date totals to that country up by 22pc to 94,000t from a year earlier.
 
Traditional outlets for US HBI continue to see lower volumes amid a downturn in steel production in Mexico and Europe because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing recession.
 
US HBI exports to Mexico have dropped by 50pc to 141,000t year to date, with no significant volumes shipped there since April.
 
The US did not export any HBI to Europe in July, with the last vessel for the continent coming in May with 33,000t to Spain. The US last exported HBI to Austria in February, when it shipped 99,000t. Austria-based Voestalpine operates the lone US HBI plant in Corpus Christi, Texas, and typically ships considerable volumes to Europe to support its steelmaking operations there. Voestalpine is nearing normal steel production levels in Austria following blast furnace restarts.
 
Cleveland-Cliffs expects to bring online a new 2mn t/yr HBI plant in Toledo, Ohio, before the end of 2020.
 
Source: Argusmedia
 
 
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The 17th China Ferro-Alloys International Conference
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