Major steelmakers such as POSCO and Hyundai Steel sold a total of 895,000 tons (t). This decrease can be attributed to several factors, including weak domestic demand and declining production.
In particular, domestic sales fell for four consecutive months in August, reaching a yearly low of 515,000 t. This decline can be attributed to the slowdown in demand from downstream sectors, companies reducing orders due to rising costs and the low-priced export strategies of Chinese and Japanese companies.
Notably, South Korea saw a 19.7% m-o-m increase in hot rolled steel imports in August, totaling 325,000 t. With the average unit price of Chinese products at around USD 570/t, they have become an attractive alternative to local products.
Despite the drop in sales, hot rolled steel exports performed relatively well. In August, South Korea shipped a total of 380,000 t of hot rolled bearings abroad. While this is a 5.0% decrease from the previous month, it is still a very good performance when we take into account the overall context.