Egyptian domestic market rebar sales surged 23% on-year in March to 622,000 tonnes, according to the latest Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) data monitored by Kallanish.
The average price of March sales rose 32% on-year to EGP 12,413/tonne ($705 at March exchange rates). This was an all-time high.
Rebar production was flat in March at 592,000t. Egyptian crude steel output that month surged 27% to 668,000t, according to worldsteel data.
Egyptian rebar sales the first quarter thus surged 38% on-year to 1.93 million tonnes, adding to their 2% on-year growth in full-year 2017.
Three-month rebar production increased 37% to 2.05mt. Egyptian crude steel output rose 17% to 1.92mt. This suggests a portion of billet requirement was still imported despite recent crude steelmaking capacity additions.
Egyptian rebar production should benefit from the five-year anti-dumping duties imposed last December on imports of rebar and wire rod from China, Turkey and Ukraine. Moreover, Beshay Steel completed in January commissioning of its new steelworks that will supply its existing rebar mills with billet feedstock. Egyptian Steel is also ramping up output at its newly-commissioned Ain Sokhna steelworks which has a 830,000 t/year crude steel and 530,000 t/y rebar capacity.
Additionally, Egypt’s Industrial Development Authority (IDA) recently received applications for two new steel plants, as well as two steel plant expansions. One of the new plant licence applicants is reported to be Abu Dhabi-based Emirates Steel.
There are suggestions, however, that Egyptian rebar mills will face greater competition from imports from Saudi Arabia. Saudi recently resumed rebar and billet exports after a long hiatus. The country’s west coast port city of Jeddah is also only a short journey up the Red Sea away from Egypt’s major ports, meaning low freight costs and lead times. Saudi Iron & Steel Company (Hadeed) and Rajhi Steel are reported to have secured approval to supply rebar to Egypt.