Steel and copper inventories in China fell this week for the first time in months, exchange and consultancy data showed, as downstream metal consumers severely hit by the coronavirus come closer to restoring normal operations, reported Reuters.
Total steel product stocks in China stood at 37.05 million tons as of Thursday, according to Mysteel. That was down 4.8% from 38.91 million tons a week earlier and marked the first drop since Dec. 19 as the traditional stock build ahead of the Lunar New Year was exacerbated by a virus-driven collapse in demand.
Inventories of copper in warehouses tracked by the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.7% from last week’s near four-year high to 377,247 tons, the first dip since Jan. 10.
In the virus epicenter of Hubei province, fabricators of copper products – widely used in power and construction – have not fully restored production but companies everywhere else in China essentially have, an industry official overseeing the sector said on Friday.