Steel News

ArcelorMittal: China’s Excess Steel Inventory Hasn’t Hit the World Market

5/11/2020 - China so far appears to be absorbing the massive steel volumes that piled up during its COVID-19 lockdown, alleviating some of the fears that its excess steel would flood world markets, ArcelorMittal executives said. 

Responding to questions about the inventory situation during the company’s earnings conference call last week, executives said it appears that inventories are being worked down and not shipped out to other countries.  

“The takedown of that inventory has been quite impressive, and while I don't have a crystal ball in front of me — these are all things which are difficult to predict — the fact that not only steel but other sectors are normalizing levels of demand and production should suggest that inventory levels should normalize,” said ArcelorMittal president and chief financial officer Aditya Mittal. 

ArcelorMittal vice president and head of investor relations Daniel Fairclough said the inventory drawdown has taken place not only at service centers but at mills as well. If that continues for the next four to six weeks, then inventories should be back at more typical levels, he said. 

“So that's something that we're watching, and we're obviously also watching the export pattern from China. We have seen a little bit of an increase (in exports) in the past couple of months, but no big concerning increase in those exports.”