Preliminary data collected by SEAISI revealed that apparent steel consumption in ASEAN reached some 67 million tonnes in 2014, an increase of around 6% y-o-y. This is the result of a significant increase of steel demand in Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia.
Vietnam’s steel demand registered the highest growth rate of around 20% y-o-y in 2014. It is estimated that Vietnam’s steel demand could exceed 14 million tonnes in 2014. Domestic production recorded a strong double digit growth in the year. Import also continued to increase significantly, by more than 2 million tonnes. Export similarly registered a significant volume of 2 million tonnes.
Although Philippines’s steel consumption in volume is relatively small, compared to the other countries in the region, it has consistently been able to enjoy a high growth rate in steel demand in the past few years. It is estimated that the country’s steel demand had surged by 10% y-o-y in 2014. This has resulted in total steel demand to exceed 7 million tonnes in 2014.
The country which registered the third highest steel demand in ASEAN in 2014 is Indonesia. Total steel demand is estimated to have increased by over 6% y-o-y in 2014. The demand was well served by domestic production, which registered a robust growth rate of 30% y-o-y. Export also recorded a strong growth rate. On the other hand, volume of steel import decreased compared to 2013.
Malaysia’s steel demand continued its moderate growth rate of around 3% y-o-y, resulting in total steel demand staying above 10 million tonnes in 2014. However, domestic producers did not seem to benefit from the increase in steel demand. Total steel production volume remained relatively unchanged compared to 2013, while import rose significantly, by double digit. Export saw a strong growth of around 60% y-o-y.
Thailand’s steel demand contracted by more than 1% in 2014. This was mainly due to the political problem in the country which has a negative impact on the country’s economic growth.
Singapore, the smallest steel consuming country in the region, experienced the highest decline in steel demand in 2014 (at nearly 10% y-o-y). Although domestic production volume increased by some 25%, following a sharp drop in production in 2013 due to upgrading works by the only producer in the country, the production of less than 600,000 tonnes in 2014 was still below its optimum production capacity. This was mainly due to the slowdown in steel demand as well as the influx of cheap imports of construction steel from China.