Analysis of steel trade in SEAISI member countries*

Posted on 28 July 2008
 

Source: Extracted from 2008 SEAISI Statistical Year Book
Imports of iron and steel products in the ten SEAISI member countries expanded at an average rate of 7.5% for the period 1998-2007, higher than the 4.6% recorded in the pre-economic crisis years of 1991-1997. Total import volume in 2007 registered 96 million tonnes, of which 46% were intra-group trade. The largest source of import for the group was China which accounted for 30 million tonnes or 31% of the group's total import volume in 2007.  South Korea was the largest importer of iron and steel products from China (among the ten countries), with total volume of 14 million tonnes in 2007.

* The member countries are Australia, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

[PICTURE1]

Exports
Exports of iron and steel products from the ten member countries surged modestly after the economic crisis, from an average of 6.4% between 1991 and 1997 to an average of 3.2% between 1998 and 2007. Exports within the group constituted half of the total export volume in 2007. Outside of the group, 29% of total export volume was destined for China. The main exporters to China were Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

Japan's total iron and steel exports in 2007 was 34 million tonnes, the highest among the ten countries. Japan's export volume grew at an average growth rate of 3.2% since 1998, which was lower than average growth rate of 4.6% before the economic crisis. Major export destinations in 2007 were South Korea (9.6 mt), China (6.3 mt), Thailand (4.3 mt) and Taiwan (3.6 mt). 

Exports from Korea totaled 17.9 million tonnes in 2007. However, the average growth rate of 1.1% from 1998 to 2007 was sluggish when compared to the average rate of 6.7%, registered before the economic crisis.  Major destinations of iron and steel exports from Korea in 2007 were China (4.0 mt), Japan (3.1 mt), USA (2.2. mt) and Europe (1.9 mt).

Iron and Steel exports from Taiwan grew by a respectable average rate of 6.4% per annum after 1998, but still much lower than the pre-crisis level of 21% per annum. Total exports in 2007 registered 12.5 million tonnes, an increase of 3% from 2006.

Imports by ASEAN countries
Imports of iron and steel products in ASEAN countries picked up substantially after a sharp drop in 1998 to reach the pre-crisis growth rate of around 8% per annum. Total imports in 2007 reached 38 milion tonnes, of which 5 million tonnes or 13% were intra-ASEAN trade. Main sources of import were Japan and China. Among the ASEAN member countries, Thailand was the largest importer of iron and steel products from Japan with total volume of 4 million tonnes in 2007, followed by Malaysia and Vietnam at 1.6 million tonnes and 1.1 million tonnes, respectively. Imports of steel products from China were also substantial, in the region of 1 to 2 million tonnes per country.

Exports by ASEAN countries
Before the economic crisis in 1997, ASEAN's export of iron and steel products as a whole was not significant. Average growth rate from 1991 to 1997 was 4% per annum and the highest export volume of 4.7 million tonnes was recorded in 1995. However, export volume picked up significantly since 2003 to reach 12 million tonnes in 2007. Over the period 1998 to 2007, the annual growth rate was 8.7%. A significant portion of the exports comprised intra-ASEAN trade. Malaysia was the largest exporter in the region with total volume of 4.4 million tonnes in 2007, an increase of 13% from 2006. Singapore was the second largest exporter in the region at 2.8 million tonnes, an increase of 39% from 2006. Thailand's export in 2007 registered 2.79 milion tonnes, up from 2.3 million tonnes in 2006.




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