Middle East trade with Asia grows in 2017

Posted on 11 June 2018

Source: Kallanish

The Middle East and Africa combined extra-regional steel exports surged 56% on-year in 2017 to 9.5 million tonnes, with shipments to Asia excluding China and Japan doubling to 6.1mt, according to worldsteel. The EU’s intake was flat at 1.4mt, while NAFTA doubled intake to 1.2mt.

Total Middle East and Africa steel exports, including intra-regional trade, surged 28% in 2017 to 17.1mt. This indicates a slowdown in intra-regional trade growth versus 2016.

Middle East extra-regional steel imports slumped -23% in 2017 to 21.8mt. Of this, 6.5mt came from China versus 10.5mt in 2016, 4.3mt from the CIS versus 5.6mt, and 3.7mt from 'other Europe', which includes Turkey, versus 4.9mt. Asia excluding Japan and China, however, supplied 4.2mt, up from 3.7mt in 2016.

African imports were also down -23% to 21.2mt, of which 5.5mt came from China versus 8.6mt in 2016, 6mt from the CIS versus 6.9mt, and 4.8mt from the EU versus 6.5mt.

In terms of scrap, Middle Eastern exports rose 27% in 2017 to 1.9mt, while imports surged 43% to 1mt, worldsteel says its latest World Steel in Figures report sent to Kallanish. NAFTA and the EU supplied 500,000t and 300,000t of these imports respectively. African scrap exports inched up 8% in 2017 to 1.4mt, but imports slumped -69% to 400,000t.

The two regions’ role thus remained small in global scrap trade in 2017, which amounted to 98.4mt, up 12% on 2016.

Of the Middle East and Africa’s combined scrap exports of 3.2mt in 2017, 2mt went to Asia excluding China and Japan, and 800,000t to other Europe.

Middle East and Africa extra-regional iron ore exports, meanwhile, rose 2% on-year in 2017 to 107.4mt. China took in 78.6mt versus 70.5mt in 2016, Asia excluding China and Japan took in 12.7mt versus 17.7mt and the EU sourced 11.8mt versus 12mt.

The region’s imports of iron ore, however, increased 3% to 29.9mt, of which 20.8mt was supplied by the Americas excluding NAFTA, up from 17.9mt in 2016, and 6.3mt by the EU, up from 6.1mt.

Middle Eastern apparent finished steel use was flat in 2017 at 53.3mt, while per capita consumption fell -1% to 217.2kg. African steel use dropped -7% to 35.1mt and per capita consumption was down -9% to 28.1kg. Global use in 2017 was 1.59 billion tonnes, up 5%, with per capita consumption averaging at 214.5kg, up 4%.

In 2016, meanwhile, Middle East and Africa true finished steel use fell -6% on-year to 83.9mt. 

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