Preliminary data collected by SEAISI revealed that apparent steel consumption in ASEAN would most likely reach 70 million tonnes in 2015, an increase of 7% y-o-y. This was mainly contributed by the strong consumption growth rates in Vietnam and Philippines.
Vietnam’s steel demand is estimated to have jumped by 26% y-o-y to touch 18 million tonnes in 2015, enabling it to overtake Thailand as the largest steel consuming country in the region. Domestic output continued to expand significantly, by 27% y-o-y to 7 million tonnes. Import also surged significantly, by 26% y-o-y to almost 14 million tonnes in the same period. Exports also continued to increase, by more than 500,000 tonnes.
Philippines’ steel demand also grew robustly, by 15% y-o-y, to cross the 8 million tonnes threshold in 2015. Domestic production expanded significantly, by a million tonnes in 2015 while import surged moderately, by 4% y-o-y.
Malaysia and Singapore both registered moderate growth rates of 5% y-o-y. Malaysia’s steel demand is expected to edge closer to 11 million tonnes in 2015. However, domestic producers did not benefit from the surging demand. Domestic production volume is expected to remain stagnant, at around 4.7 million tonnes. Imports increased by some 500,000 tonnes in 2015, while exports declined moderately.
Singapore, the smallest steel consuming country in the ASEAN-6, experienced a higher growth rate in steel demand of 5% y-o-y to around 4 million tonnes in 2015. However, domestic production declined by nearly 6% y-o-y while import rose marginally to slightly above 5 million tonnes. Export declined by 7% y-o-y to 1.8 million tonnes in the same period.
Thailand’s steel demand is expected to decline by 3% y-o-y, to fall below 17 million tonnes in 2015, thus downgrading itself to be the second largest steel consuming country in the region, after Vietnam. Domestic output contracted by 5% y-o-y to around 6.5 million tonnes. Import declined moderately, by 2% y-o-y to just over 11 million tonnes. However, export rose by 5% y-o-y to exceed one million tonnes in the same period.
Indonesia’s steel demand is expected to drop by more than 3% y-o-y to register a volume of slightly above 12 million tonnes in 2015. Domestic production contracted by 5% y-o-y to around 6 million tonnes. Imports increased marginally, while exports surged strongly to more than a million tonnes in 2015.