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 October 6, 2015 - 11:48 AM EDT
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Platts China Steel Sentiment Index Slumps in October

Bleak Outlook for New Orders and Prices and Inventories Expected to Rise

BEIJING, Oct. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Chinese steel market participants' expectations for new steel orders and prices over the next month have plunged and rising steel inventories could further dampen price recovery hopes, according to the latest Platts China Steel Sentiment Index (Platts CSSI). The Platts CSSI showed a headline reading of 35.46 out of a possible 100 points in October.

The October index fell 20.17 points from September's 55.64 and signaled a retreat to below the 50 threshold after two stronger months. A figure over 50 indicates expectations of an increase in health for the industry; under 50 indicates a decrease.  The outlook for new domestic steel orders slumped by 20.89 points to 36.07, while export order expectations deteriorated 6.30 points to 28.27.

Price expectations for flat steel products, such as hot rolled coil, are pessimistic, plunging 34.29 points from last month to 10.71 in October, the CSSI showed. Crude steel production is tipped to increase slightly in the coming month. Combined with a lack of domestic and export demand for steel, this could explain why inventory levels are forecast to climb.

"The October CSSI was conducted before China's National holidays which could partly explain why steel market participants expected demand and prices to soften further," said Paul Bartholomew, Platts managing editor, steel & steel raw materials. "But worryingly, they don't expect much of an improvement when the market restarts, because underlying demand in China is weak in response to a slowing economy."

Platts China Steel Sentiment Index – October 2015
(a figure over 50 indicates expectations of an increase; under 50 indicates a decrease)

October 2015

Change from September


CSSI (Total New Orders)



New Domestic Orders



New Export Orders



Steel Production



Steel Prices (Flat Products)



Inventory Held by Traders




CSSI reflects expectations of market participants for the month ahead. A CSSI reading above 50 indicates an increase/expansion and a reading below 50 indicates a decrease/contraction. The index is based on a survey of approximately 50 to 75 China-based market participants including traders, stockists and steel mill operators.

"The lack of confidence in domestic demand for steel explains why Chinese mills and traders are increasingly looking overseas for customers, and why China could potentially export around 110 million mt of steel this year," Bartholomew said.

Separate to the CSSI, the September monthly average price for Platts China export hot rolled coil prices was $280.92 per metric ton FOB China. This was down 8% from the $306.21/mt in August.

The Platts China Steel Sentiment Index survey plays no role in Platts' formal price assessment processes. For more information, please visit:

Global, Americas, Asia: Kathleen Tanzy, + 1 917 331 4607,

About Platts: Founded in 1909, Platts is a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals, metals and agriculture information and a premier source of benchmark prices for the physical and futures markets.  Platts' news, pricing, analytics, commentary and conferences help customers make better-informed trading and business decisions and help the markets operate with greater transparency and efficiency.  Customers in more than 150 countries benefit from Platts' coverage of the biofuels, carbon emissions, coal, electricity, oil, natural gas, metals, nuclear power, petrochemical, shipping and sugar markets.  A division of McGraw Hill Financial, Platts is based in London with more than 1000 employees in more than 15 offices worldwide. Additional information is available at

About McGraw Hill Financial:  McGraw Hill Financial (MHFI) is a leading financial intelligence company providing the global capital and commodity markets with independent benchmarks, credit ratings, portfolio and enterprise risk solutions, and analytics. The Company's iconic brands include Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power and SNL Financial. The Company has approximately 20,000 employees in 31 countries. Additional information is available at

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Source: PR Newswire (October 6, 2015 - 11:48 AM EDT)

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