Preliminary figures compiled by SEAISI revealed that apparent steel consumption in ASEAN picked up significantly in the second half of 2009. Nevertheless, the increase was not sufficient to offset the sharp drop in consumption in the first half of the year. As a result, ASEAN’s apparent steel consumption for the whole year of 2009 is estimated to have declined by 8% y-o-y to 42.32 million tonnes.
Production was somewhat stable at 24.4 million tonnes. However, import and export volume dropped significantly. Total import of steel products into the region declined from 30 million tonnes in 2008 to 19.7 million tonnes in 2009. Export dipped by more than half to nearly 4 million tonnes.
Among the six countries in the region, Vietnam is the only country that saw an increase in steel demand. In fact, apparent steel consumption in the country grew by more than 30% in 2009. On the other hand, Indonesia encountered the highest negative growth rate of 27%, followed by Singapore and Thailand with a decline of 23% and 20%, respectively. Malaysia and Philippines experienced single digit decline in steel consumption of 9% and 3%, respectively.
Demand for long product seemed to pick up fast at 11.8 milion tonnes in the second quarter of 2009, slightly higher than the pre-crisis level in the first quarter of 2008. Domestic long product producers benefited from the demand growth, with a significant improvement in domestic production of 45% q-o-q to 9.7 million tonnes in the second quarter of 2009. Import and export increased to the same level as recorded in the first half of 2008, to 3.4 million tonnes and 1.25 million tonnes, respectively.
Total long product consumption in 2009, however, reduced by 4% to 20.1 million tonnes. Production declined slightly to 16.4 million tonnes. Import dropped moderately to 5.9 million tonnes. On the other hand, export registered an increase of 9% y-o-y to 2.2 million tonnes.
Meanwhile, flat product consumption in the second half of 2009 was significantly lower than the pre-crisis level in the first half of 2008. Total consumption of 13.3 million tonnes was a decline of 15% when compared to the demand in the first half of 2008. Production dropped markedly from 5 million tonnes in the first half of 2008 to 4.3 million tonnes in the second half of 2009. Import registered 10.7 million tonnes, a decline from 13 million tonnes in the first half of 2008. Export at 1.7 million tonnes was a significant decline from the 4.4 million tonnes recorded in the first half of 2008.
Total flat steel consumption registered 22.3 million tonnes in 2009, a decrease of 11% y-o-y. Production remained relatively stable at 8 million tonnes. However, import and export showed a significant deceleration of 27% and 54% to 17.5 million tonnes and 3.3 mllion tonnes, respectively.