Preliminary data compiled by SEAISI revealed that apparent steel consumption in ASEAN expanded by 4% y-o-y to 50.5 million tonnes in 2011. Singapore’s steel consumption surged significantly by more than a million tonnes to 3.8 million tonnes in 2011. Surprisingly, Thailand’s steel consumption increased by 3% y-o-y amidst the severe flood situation and the economic slowdown in the country. Steel consumption in Indonesia and Philippines rose by 8% to 9.7 milliion tonnes and 4.3 million tonnes in 2011, respectiviely. On the other hand, Malaysia and Vietnam both experienced declines in steel demand. Malaysia’s steel consumption of 8.05 million tonnes in 2011 was a decline of 3.2% y-o-y while Vietnam’s tight monetary and fiscal policies slowed down its domestic steel demand to 10 million tonnes, a decline of 5.4% y-o-y.
Flat product demand in ASEAN increased by 4% y-o-y to 27 million tonnes. However, the demand was mainly served by imports. Import of flat products in ASEAN was estimated to have risen by 8% y-o-y to 25 million tonnes 2011. Meanwhile, domestic output dropped by 1.7% to 7.5 million tonnes.
Flat steel demand picked up significantly in Indonesia and Singapore. Indonesia’s flat steel production rose by 9% y-o-y to 2.6 million tonnes, while import increased by 13% y-o-y to 4.6 million tonnes. On the whole, flat steel consumption in the country picked up by 12% y-o-y to 6 million tonnes. Import of flat steel in Singapore soared by 25% y-o-y to 2.8 million tonnes. Flat steel consumption surged by 23% y-o-y to 1.5 million tonnes.
As for Vietnam, its flat steel demand reduced by 2.7% y-o-y to 4.2 million tonnes. Import surged by 5.8% y-o-y to 5.6 million tonnes, but export increased significantly by 400,000 tonnes to 1.4 million tonnes.
Flat steel demand in Thailand increased moderately by 3.5% y-o-y to nearly ten million tonnes, whereas domestic output declined significantly by 14% y-o-y to 3.3 million tonnes. Import of flat steel in Philippines stagnated while export reduced significantly by 40%. Malaysia’s flat steel market, in contrast, saw a substantial increase in domestic output while import declined by 6% y-o-y.
Long steel demand in the region rose by 4% y-o-y to 24 million tonnes. However, domestic production stagnated at 18.5 million tonnes whereas import surged by nearly a million tonnes to 8 million tonnes in 2011.
Long steel markets in most of the countries in the region were rather subdued, except for Singapore. Vietnam’s long steel demand dropped by 8% y-o-y to 6 million tonnes. Import declined by 200,000 tonnes. Domestic output registered a slight decline of 3% y-o-y. Malaysia’s long steel demand remained relatively unchanged. However, domestic output registered a drop of 6.5% y-o-y. Indonesia’s long steel demand rose slightly by 2.6% y-o-y to 3.6 million tonnes.
On the other hand, Singapore’s long steel demand picked up significantly by almost a million tonnes in 2011. NatSteel Holdings, the only long steel producer, expanded its production by 4.7% y-o-y which, however, was still not sufficient for the local demand. As a result, import showed a significant increase of 38% y-o-y.