Metal Bulletin looks at six key things, discussed in the Philippines last month at SEAISI's 2017 Asean Iron and Steel Sustainability Forum in Manila, that will impact the Asian steel sector over the next five years.
China’s steel exports to Southeast Asia could continue dipping in 2018
South East Asia Iron & Steel Institute (SEAISI) delegates in Manila heard that China’s total steel exports to Southeast Asia could continue dipping in 2018, as bullish domestic prices have led Chinese steel mills to divert their supply to the local markets.
Chinese steel exports to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) markets dropped 42% to 16.35 million tonnes in the first nine months of 2017 compared with the same period last year, based on SEAISI estimates. Its steel exports to the rest of the world dropped 30% year on year to 59.61 million tonnes within the same period.
The biggest drop was in rebar, which fell 79% to 2.53 million tonnes. This was followed by sections, which fell 46% to 703,931 tonnes. The next biggest drop was for wire rod, which retreated 41% to 2.26 million tonnes.
Vietnam’s Hoa Phat targets 2019 start-up of 4-million-tpy mill in Quang Ngai
Vietnam’s Hoa Phat Group is targeting a 2019 start-up for its 4-million-tonne-per-year integrated steel mill in central Vietnam. Located in Quang Ngai province, the $2.7-billion mill will have at least three continuous casters and two rolling mills.
The project will consist of two phases: the first is expected to produce one million tpy of construction steel and 1 million tpy of rolled steel; while the second phase will produce two million tpy of hot-rolled flat steel bar for machinery manufacturing.
$180 billion for ‘Build, build, build’ program to support Philippines steel demand
The Philippines will embark on an ambitious $180-billion ‘Build, build, build’ program in from 2017 to 2022, which is expected to boost demand for steel during the period.
The Department of Public Works & Highways will work on traffic decongestion, transport, road development, water resource management and disaster risk mitigation.
Projects include 2,567km of roads in the Mindanao Logistics Infrastructure Network, up to 42 bridges in the Metro Manila Logistics Improvement Project, as well as up to 1,040km of highways in the Luzon Spine Expressway Network.
Indonesia’s Krakatau Steel to start 1.2-million-tpy blast furnace in Cilegon
Indonesia’s Krakatau Steel is on track to start a 1.2-million-tpy blast furnace in Cilegon, Indonesia very soon.
It had started the first pushing of a coke oven plant at the blast furnace in early-September, which will process up to 550,000 tpy of coke to fuel the furnace.
The furnace will produce hot metal that will be fed into an electric arc furnace at an existing facility. Semi-finished steel will then be used for its own downstream production, as well as for subsidiaries and joint ventures.
Krakatau Steel currently procures slab from Krakatau Posco - a 3-million-tpy joint venture with South Korea’s Posco - for its production of hot-rolled coil and plate.
India may end up with larger share of Southeast Asia steel pie
India could take a larger share of the Southeast Asia steel pie in 2018, as China’s import volumes to the region continue to drop.
According to SEAISI estimates, India’s steel exports to Asean countries increased 5% in the first six months of 2017, compared with 1% in the same period last year.
India-origin HRC, rebar and billet have regularly been offered and booked in the various Southeast Asian import markets in the second half of 2017, suggesting a strong case for continued India-origin steel exports to the region in 2018.
‘Lego’-style construction in Singapore to boost steel demand
Singapore will increasingly use ‘Lego’-style building techniques techniques to boost construction productivity.
Assembly of rooms and units will be done off site, in a controlled manufacturing environment, before being speedily assembled on site.
As construction speeds up, so will demand for steel.
This is part of the Building & Construction Authority’s (BCA) efforts to transform the building and construction industry in Singapore.
Other than automated off-site production facilities and efficient on-site installation, the BCA is also encouraging builders to use a Building Information Modeling system, which will integrate processes and stakeholders through the use of innovative communications technology.