In its latest Short Range Outlook (SRO) for 2016 and 2017, the World Steel Association (worldsteel) has projected that global steel demand will drop 0.8% to 1,488 million tonnes in 2016, after a contraction of -3.0% in 2015. It, however, expects world steel demand to return to growth path in 2017, albeit by a marginal increase of 0.4%, to reach 1,494 million tonnes.
China continues to weigh heavily on the shrinkage in global steel demand and worldsteel expects the Chinese steel demand to drop by 4.0% this year to 645.40 million tonnes, following a 5.40% year-on-year decline in 2015 to 672.30 million tonnes. Steel demand in the country is expected to be further trimmed down by 3.0% in 2017 to 626.10 million tonnes. The rebalancing of the country’s economy and the slowdown in construction activities have contributed to the deceleration in China’s steel demand.
India, the other major emerging economy in Asia, will, however, continue to see a healthy growth in steel demand in 2016 and 2017. worldsteel forecasts that India’s steel demand will increase by an identical 5.4% in both the years, reaching 88.30 million tonnes in 2017, contributed by the low oil prices, the reform momentum and policies to increase infrastructure and manufacturing output.
Despite the difficult global economic environment, the countries in ASEAN continue to show resilient growth. Accordingly, steel demand in ASEAN also continues to expand at a faster pace than the global average for emerging economies.
Steel demand in the emerging and developing economies excluding China is forecast to grow by 1.8% and 4.8% in 2016 and 2017 respectively. For ASEAN 5 (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam), however, worldsteel expects the group to be able to maintain a growth rate of around 6% due to its infrastructure building activities and that total steel demand in the five countries will reach 74.60 million tonnes in 2017.
I will provide an update on the steel situation in ASEAN when I present my report on “Performance of the ASEAN Iron and Steel Industry in 2015 and Outlook” at the upcoming 2016 SEAISI Conference & Exhibition in Hanoi, Vietnam. At the same event, representatives from the nine member countries of SEAISI will also provide more in-depth information on their countries when they present their respective Country Reports. Additionally, there will also be presentations on the steel industry situation in China and India.
The other highlights of the conference include:
- Keynote address by two top executives of the largest steel establishments in Vietnam viz. Mr. Chen Yuan-Cheng, Chairman of Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation and Mr. Nghiem Xuan Da, General Director of Vietnam Steel Corporation.
- CEO Panel Discussion on “Innovating and Sustaining Competitiveness in ASEAN Steel Industry” with panel members comprising the two keynote speakers and three board members of SEAISI.
- Session on “Strategic Challenges and Opportunities” featuring speakers from CRU, The Steel Index, SEAISI and Thai Iron and Steel Club.
- 16 Technical Sessions covering such topics as Product Development, Operation Excellence, Quality Improvement, Environmental Management, Technology Development, Raw Materials, Energy & Cost Reduction, Waste Management, Plant Management, Process Improvement and Productivity Improvement.
This year also marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of SEAISI in Singapore in 1971. To commemorate the occasion, there will be an official launching of the newly revamped SEAISI website as well as the new ASEAN Steel Map during the opening ceremony of the conference. A commemorative gift will also be distributed to all delegates.
Do not miss out on the biggest steel event of the year in this region!
TAN AH YONG