Hot rolled plate demand in ASEAN continued to rise significantly in the last two years. In 2012, demand grew by 27% y-o-y to 4 million tonnes. However, regional production has stagnated since 2007. Capacity utilization remained very low. Regional production registered 1.3 million tonnes in 2012, a decline of 2.3% y-o-y. Demand has been mainly served by imports, which increased by 2.8% y-o-y to 3.5 million tonnes in 2012.
Demand for hot rolled plate in Indonesia registered the highest volume in the region, at 1.5 million tonnes in 2012, a significant increase of 31% y-o-y. However, domestic output stagnated at 805,520 tonnes. Import rose by 20% y-o-y to 888,222 tonnes in 2012. Most of the demand for hot rolled plate in Indonesia was to serve the construction sector. Around 30-35% of the hot rolled plate import was to to meet the needs of the expanding shipbuilding sector in the country.
Thailand, the second largest plate consuming country in the region, enjoyed a moderate growth rate of 9% y-o-y in hot rolled plate consumption in 2012, at 601,194 tonnes. Domestic production increased by 5% y-o-y to 388,931 tonnes. Import rose by 3.9% y-o-y to 227,216 tonnes while export dropped by half to 14,953 tonnes.
Philippines’ demand for hot rolled plate was entirely served by import which surged robustly by 27% y-o-y to 559,474 tonnes in 2012, the third highest volume of demand in the region. Around 70% of the import was to serve the shipbuilding industry and the balance the construction sector.
Vietnam’s plate demand registered 538,000 tonnes, a moderate increase of 7% y-o-y in 2012 (estimated figure). Around 60% of the import was to serve the construction sector and the rest for the shipbuilding sector.
Malaysia’s demand for hot rolled plate increased marginally by 4% y-o-y to 441,360 tonnes in 2012. Domestic output declined significantly by 23% y-o-y to 151,871 tonnes while import rose sharply by 16% y-o-y to 331,052 tonnes.
Singapore, the largest importer of hot rolled plate in the region, experienced a significant decline of demand in hot rolled plate, by half to 329,054 tonnes in 2012. Import dropped from 1,223,501 tonnes in 2011 to 955,829 tonnes in 2012. Meanwhile, export rose by 5.3% y-o-y to 626,775 tonnes in 2012.